23 December 2015 The members of the Women’s Parliamentary Network in meeting with the representatives of the gender responsive budgeting teams from seven Serbian municipalities
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Women’s Parliamentary Network Members Meet with Gender Responsive Budgeting Teams from Seven Municipalities in Serbia
The members of the Women’s Parliamentary Network met with representatives of the gender responsive budgeting teams from seven Serbian municipalities at the National Assembly House, on 23 December, to discuss the best practice examples of the municipal gender budgeting initiatives.
“Today we meet with you, the representatives from seven municipalities who had gone through UN WOMEN and European Progress training for the introduction of gender responsive budgeting into your respective municipalities’ budgets, and the experts from the civil sector to exchange experiences on the application of gender responsive budgeting in your municipalities’ budgets”, Paunovic concluded, thanking everybody for the help they provided the Network in the drafting of the amendments to the Budget System Law.
Milana Rikanovic addressed the assembly on the behalf of UN WOMEN – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, saying that its priority is to include the gender perspective into all the policies and programmes conducted by the them and their partner organisations. The introduction of gender analysis and perspective into the Serbian budget is a big success for the Women’s Parliamentary Network and could serve as an example to be applied in the municipalities, provincial authorities and at the national level.
Aleksandra Vladisavljevic, gender responsive budgeting consultant, said that the policies are the responsibility of all the departments and what will finally finds its way to the budget is a joint effort so it is very important to define everybody’s role is the process, what is the job of the people preparing the budget and what of those responsible for gender equality, opining that success hinges on how these teams would operate in practice, providing them with necessary support and securing the requisites needed for the application of Article 40 of the Gender Equality Law.
Dragan Bozanic, gender responsive budgeting consultant, also thanked the members of the Women’s Parliamentary Network for helping to raise the work on introducing gender responsive budgeting into the budget to a qualitatively higher level and making it an obligation.
Among other things, the participants of the meeting discussed the attitude of the local self-governments to gender responsive budgeting, raising awareness on gender equality in the local self-governments and its prospects.
WPN member Marija Obradovic said that good results come from disregarding formality and concentrating on what is important, adding that she believed regular meetings about future activities would be crucial because gender responsive budgeting can truly profit from this kind of cooperation. “We have to work together and insist that our cause spreads throughout Serbia”, Obradovic concluded.
WPN member Aida Corovic spoke of the importance of working on this issue because it is a credit both to the Women’s Parliamentary Network and the Parliament itself.
WPN member Ljiljana Malusic said that women must stand together and show their power because women make the world. She appealed to the participants to develop women’s unions within their municipalities, because she believes united, women will be stronger and that is the key to success.
WPN member Dubravka Filipovski said that though a lot has been achieved concerning gender responsive budgeting, a lot yet remains to be done, such as promoting dialogue between men and women, empowerment at the local level, establishment of women councillor’s networks, development of additional mechanisms and use of indicators. “The fact that we have managed to boost the numbers of women in the parliament, as well as council women in the local self-government, to 30% now obliges the Republic of Serbia to pass a new gender equality law in order to open chapters 23 and 24, and if we succeed in our efforts to have that law stipulate 50% participation of women in the executive, we will have reached the quota necessary for the conduction of a gender budgeting law”, opined Filipovski.
The gender responsive budgeting teams comprising local gender equality entities and representatives of municipal finance departments spoke about the gender budgeting initiatives in their municipalities. They shared the best practice examples from the municipalities of Vlasotince, Nova Varos, Vladicin Han, Sjenica, Prijepolje, Aleksinac and Priboj and exchanged experiences concerning the application of gender responsive budgeting in their communities.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) and UNOPS.
Besides Women’s Parliamentary Network coordinator Vera Paunovic, the meeting was attended by WPN members Marija Obradovic, Dubravka Filipovski, Ljiljana Malusic, Sabina Dazdarevic, Aida Corovic, Jelisaveta Veljkovic and Ljibuska Lakatos.