Friday, 7 March 2014
National Assembly Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Committee Chairman Meho Omerovic Congratulates 8 March
The Chairman of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality, Meho Omerovic, congratulated all women on 8 March - International Women's Day.
“However, thinking about its history and original meaning”, says Omerovic, “this holiday we celebrate for the 103rd time now, is about the fight for equal rights for women, their right to vote and better status, for their political and economic interests i.e. many things which seem natural and normal to us today, a civilisational achievement".
Omerovic says that as we honour this day in Serbia, we can list both achievements and problems. “We have managed to get almost 33% (32.8%) of women in the National Assembly, we have an active Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality fully committed to women’s issues, not to mention the establishment of the Women’s Parliamentary Network made up of all interested women MPs no matter what their political affiliation”.
“We have a Gender Equality Law, relevant strategies (National Strategy for the Improvement of the Status of Women and Promotion of Gender Equality, National Strategy for the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against women in the Family and Intimate Partner Relationship), we are implementing UNSC Resolution 1325”, said Omerovic adding that “we also have executive mechanisms from the national (Gender Equality Directorate) to the local level (in about 110 towns and municipalities), as well as independent bodies (Ombudsman’s Office, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality) to control the field.”
The Committee Chairman went on to add that there are more employed men than women (57% and 43% respectively), difference in pay between the genders goes up to 17% in favour of men, and women spend up to twice as much time in unpaid professions than men. “In the economic crisis affecting all of society, women are the more endangered part which bears an incredible burden, especially if they happen to be single mothers, as well as being especially vulnerable to the obvious increase in violence”, stresses Omerovic.
The letter of congratulations then states that “achieving gender equality in a society is an ongoing process in which we shall all endeavour to reach the highest standards, equality in gaining and exercising the rights, responsibilities and opportunities for both women and men and equal approach to their interests, needs and priorities”.
“Both men and women need gender equality in order to establish a true partnership in pursing their business and in the society where they live and work, in equal conditions, each side benefiting from the other’s differences. Equal participation of women, which make up 52% (51.8%) of the population, in public and political life is a prerequisite and an indicator of democracy, human rights and freedoms. It contributes to the virtues of empathy, solidarity and tolerance, enables the use of all human resources and promotes sustainable development, helps achieve social justice, social progress, balance and stability”, says Omerovic in the letter of congratulations.
“That is why I most heartily congratulate Women’s Day to all the women of Serbia”.