Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Committee Chairman Meho Omerovic Speaks on International Women’s Day

On 8 March, International Women’s Day, I wish to all women to fully enjoy their rights, to be equal to, or even more successful than us men, even in areas we traditionally consider male territory.

I believe that as a society we are ready to put in additional effort to fight the problems that trouble women most of all such as still, unfortunately, unemployment, discrimination and violence. We have to create the environment that appreciates the values of gender equality and women’s rights.

That is why it is important to start with education even in pre-school years. School and the family are places where boys and girls learn about respect, tolerance and non-violent solutions to problems which they will most probably come up against in familial relations and partnerships, because life brings many challenges.

I would like to focus on women’s economic status because their status overall hinges on it. Though women and men have the same rights in principle, there is a huge gap between these proclaimed principles and the reality of the situation. For women, it is still more difficult to get a job and easier to lose it. Pregnancy plans and marital status continue to be questions asked of women in job interviews even though employers should not do it. Women also continue to lose their jobs because of pregnancy and maternal leave, even though these are masked under the guise of other reasons for dismissal. Many jobs still remain off limits for them. We should also focus our attention on women in a doubly difficult position such as single mothers, mothers of disabled children and women from rural areas.

We could ask why this is so when we know that women make up a very educated and qualified part of the work force, they are dedicated to their jobs and do their duties responsibly, in a way known only to them they manage to balance out their professional and private life.

There is a number of companies in Serbia well aware of the significance of gender equality, which take up the responsible and constructive role of promoting the status of women. However, all companies should focus more on this issue and develop socially responsible business programmes where women, their position on the job market, their labour rights, promotion options and adequate bonuses, as well as balancing of family and professional life, would be set as priorities.

That is why I would like to appeal to all employers to develop the same affirmative measures to promote the status of women or at least give them the same chances as men to fulfil their abilities in their chosen professions.

I believe that in the coming period all women will be provided with the place, conditions and social status their role, abilities and values merit.

Happy Women’s Day!

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friday, 29 september
  • 9.00 - sitting of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (National Assembly Building, 14 Kralja Milana Street, Blue Salon)

  • 9.00 - sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

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