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Global Ranking Concerns and Political Biases

Youth engagement is a vital aspect of Serbia’s journey to becoming a more inclusive and equal society, actively shaping anti-violence campaigns and influencing positive social transformation through their involvement in the creating and implementing of meaningful measures

Serbia’s trajectory towards achieving gender equality paints a complex picture, characterised by notable progress in terms of education, but underscored by challenges – as evidenced by the country’s recent reduced ranking according to the Global Gender Gap Index. The EU Strategy for Gender Equality 2020- 2025 serves as a guiding framework by emphasising the imperative of cohesive policies to address existing disparities.

While Serbia’s political participation ranking is holding steady in 21st place, persistent biases and the limited visibility of women in electoral campaigns remain significant concerns. The commendable advancement in education, leading to a ranking of 37th, reflects positive impacts from political will and initiatives geared towards empowering women through educational avenues.

The prevalence of stereotypes and biases against women in political spheres, as highlighted by the UNDP’s findings, necessitates a concerted effort to address not only numerical representation, but also the substantive roles played by women in various societal spheres.

The alarming statistic of 28 women murdered in 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address and eradicate violence against women

It is essential to foster an inclusive political environment, driven by a commitment to the principles outlined in the EU Strategy for Gender Equality. Continued dedication to this strategy, coupled with targeted initiatives, is paramount for Serbia to effectively bridge gender gaps and foster a more equitable society.

A key facet of these targeted initiatives focuses on engaging young people in the fight against gender-based violence, as revealed by research entitled “Voices of Youth”. Growing awareness of gender- based violence issues among young individuals in Serbia aligns with the challenges identified in the Global Gender Gap Index. The commitment of the Serbian Ministry of Tourism and Youth to recognising and preventing gender-based violence, encompassing digital violence, underscores a comprehensive approach to tackling this pervasive issue.

Significantly, the active involvement of young influencers in challenging stereotypes signals a positive shift in societal attitudes. This highlights the potential to empower young voices to contribute to changing narratives, particularly in communities where they may be exposed to greater risk. In conclusion, collaborative efforts involving the government, international organisations and civil society are indispensable. Encouraging a sustained dialogue that not only empowers young voices, but also challenges ingrained stereotypes and fosters a culture of zero tolerance for violence, is a vital step towards building a more equitable and safer society in Serbia.

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