13 September 2018 Participants of the Congress
Thursday, 13 September 2018
First International Congress of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses in Ireland: 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote
Serbia’s Women’s Parliamentary Network – best practice example
The congress, organized by the Irish Women's Parliamentary Caucus and gathering women parliamentarians from 50 countries, as well as representatives of the civil sector, business and sport world, was attended by MPs Marija Jevdjic of the United Serbia Parliamentary Group and Marija Janjusevic of the Dveri Parliamentary Group. The participants of the First International Congress of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses exchanged experiences and views on the challenges and problems facing women across the world and how they can work together to help resolve them. The gathering was organized at the highest state level and garnered significant media attention. The participants were, among others, addressed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, while Irish President Michael Higgins organized a gala dinner.
By the numbers of women active in politics and public life Serbia is at the among the top EU countries and listed as a good example of progress and advancement of gender equality in the reports of international organizations. Presenting the work of the Women’s Parliamentary Network Natasa Mihailovic said that with 93 women MP the Serbian Parliament is nearing the coveted 40% representation. Women in Serbia hold the highest state titles from Prime Minister, ministerial positions, to the Serbian citizens’ money being also in the hands of a women Governor of the National Bank.
The question of gender equality and the position of women is the very opposite of a dividing political issue, uniting instead all the political parties and citizens, and the Women’s Parliamentary Network is a good example of how it is possible to, despite political and ideological differences, work together and achieve good results in advancing the position of women through legislative activity, said the member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that at the panel discussion on the importance and influence of women’s caucuses across the world.
MP Natasa Mihailovic said that the inclusion of the gender perspective in all the laws passed by the National Assembly is one of WPN’s chief achievements. Gender responsive budgeting became a component part of the Law on the Budget and the Law on the Budgetary System thanks to the WPN”s efforts, resulting in bigger allocations for women entrepreneurs and to encourage women to take up agriculture. The WPN also achieved significant results by helping amend the Criminal Code - lifting the statute of limitations from sex crimes against minors and working to pass the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence.
Women in Serbia, Ireland and all over the world cannot wait another 100 years to, side-by-side with men, create a better and more just world, MP Natasa Mihailovic concluded her address.
The participants of the Congress rounded up the proceedings by the adoption of a Declaration stating their readiness and intent to continue to work together towards the establishment of a Women’s Caucus in every parliament by 2020 to champion gender equality and help resolve the problems facing women around the world.