25 November 2010 Participants of the public hearing

25 November 2010 Participants of the public hearing

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Public Hearing Held on Role of the Media in Combating Violence against Women

The Gender Equality Committee organised a public hearing at the National Assembly House on the Role of the Media in Combating Violence against Women, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November.



The Gender Equality Committee organised a public hearing at the National Assembly House on the Role of the Media in Combating Violence against Women, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November.

In her address at the beginning of the meeting, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic stated that 26 women have been killed in Serbia since the beginning of the year, and one in three women in Serbia is a victim of physical domestic violence, while one in two is the victim of psychological abuse. The data show violence against women to be a grave social problem obliging all state authorities, the media, international and non-governmental organisations to work harder on creating a violence-free society.

She also pointed out that the number of reported cases of violence against women, four times higher then in 2004, speaks of the change in the society’s attitude to the problem.

The National Assembly Speaker said that Serbia possesses the legal and institutional framework to combat violence against women, built into the Labour, Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Laws, as well as the Family Code, Criminal Code etc.

According to her, the media should take an active part in eradicating the view of violence against women as a cultural inevitability, and promote the idea of victim protection as violence against women is a crime. Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic stressed that any information on the subject should contain a clear message that this is a violation of fundamental human rights and dignity.

Gender Equality Committee Chairperson Dr Gordana Paunovic-Milosavljevic stated that 70% of women in Serbia experience some type of abuse during the year. In order to alter the situation it is necessary to first alter the public awareness which is where the media play an important role.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and President of the Serbian Government’s Gender Equality Council Snezana Lakicevic presented the Council’s plan of cooperation with the media in combating violence against women and announced that by the end of the year the Government would adopt a strategy for the elimination of violence against women. State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic shared the Ministry’s views on the role of the media in combating violence against women.

On the behalf of the Children’s Rights Working Group Milica Vojic-Markovic pointed out the growing violence against children, most often in the family, adding that children are more often exposed to emotional than physical violence. She stressed that Serbia needs a comprehensive law on the protection of children’s rights.

President of the Serbian Association of Journalists Ljiljana Smajlovic said that gender equality, as well as violence against women, are primarily handled as a women’s issue adding that female stereotypes abound in the media. On the behalf of the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia Jelka Jovanovic said that the media reflect the social circumstances and media representatives, as the creators of public opinion, should take part in gatherings such as this one.

Members of the Gender Equality Committee as well as other deputies, and representatives of the Gender Equality Directorate and Provincial Secretariat for Labour, Employment and Gender Equality took part in the gathering. In addition, representatives of the Gender Equality Commissions and Councils of Nis, Cacak and Novi Sad spoke of their experiences.


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