Thursday, 8 March 2018

Gojkovic: We Must Not Neglect Women in Rural Areas

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic spoke at the national conference “Women from rural parts of Serbia are equal citizens” saying that the Serbian Assembly is committed to advance regulations toward improving the rights of women and that it is important to pass laws good not only on paper but applicable in practice in every part of Serbia, rural areas included.


The National Assembly Speaker said that the new gender equality law, expected to be passed this year to replace the existing one from 2009, will be a big step forward for women’s rights. Gojkovic added that it is important to have the new bill come into the Serbian Parliament by regular procedure, that it be modern and European, and, above all, applicable state-wide.

Gojkovic went on to remind the attending about the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children which entitles unemployed women to maternity allowance, mainly women in rural areas involved in agriculture or outside engagements, employed under occasional service and temporary service contracts. Gojkovic also said that the adoption of the Law on Preventing Domestic Violence has marked the beginning of a systematic fight against violence against women, appealing to women to report instances of violence because there is no shame in being a victim, the shame lies with the one who commits violence.

Speaking of the difficult position of women in rural areas which was the topic of this years’ International Women’s Day conference, Gojkovic said that they are plagued by unemployment while at the same time being overburdened by housework and having no adequate health care or time for themselves.

“Women in rural areas most often live in a patriarchal and traditional communities meaning that men are predominantly the owners of property, and the women are much less economically independent than their counterparts in urban areas”, said Gojkovic stating that this is evident in the fact that only 12% of women are owners of the houses they live in and 16% are landowners.

The Parliament Speaker said that support measures should be seriously discussed, primarily employment, training and education prospects, programs aimed at developing entrepreneurship among women and incentives for women farmers, as well as working toward an overall improvement of life in rural areas, especially in terms of access to schools, hospitals and cultural content.

Gojkovic said that women in rural areas must not be neglected and that they can greatly contribute to the development of both rural areas and the society as a whole.



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