The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic took part in the conference “Women in Political Life” at the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, organized by the Assembly of AP Vojvodina Women’s Parliamentary Network.
Gojkovic said that with its 93 women MPs the Serbian National Assembly ranks 24th in the world according to the latest IPU and UN WOMEN data.
The National Assembly Speaker said that women occupy many other important posts and Serbia is one of the 10 countries in the world whose governments are headed by women and one of the 55 with a woman head of parliament.
Gojkovic said it is good that the laws have allowed women to be more visible and be given the chance to show that they can lead the parliament and government just as good as men and take on important positions, adding that thanks to good laws they have shown the world that they are just as capable.
In the panel “Challenges, obstacles and experiences of women in political life” Gojkovic said that women are often asked about the challenges and obstacles they come up against and how they balance their careers and family life, while men are never asked these questions and stated that her challenges and duties as Speaker of Parliament are no different than ones a man would have.
The National Assembly Speaker said all this reveals that we are still a society full of prejudice which is why it is important to come out and say that women are just as good as men.
Speaking of solidarity among women, Gojkovic said that in the fight to have women recognized as equal partners there is no solidarity and reminded the attending that in the instances when she was the victim of political and media attacks, female solidarity was found lacking.
“Solidarity would help break down the prejudice against women in politics”, said Gojkovic adding that the support she gets from women in these situations is encouraging.
Gojkovic stressed that the media plays an important role in combating prejudice against women and appealed to the media not to stir up prejudice and to report on women politicians based on their decisions and views, not based on what they wear.
Gojkovic said she expected a new law on gender equality to be passed this year which will be a huge step forward in women’s fight for equality not just in politics but in every social sphere.
Gojkovic also spoke about project “Women in Rural Areas”, launched to focus more attention on women living in villages.