Strength lies in equality
The legal framework for gender equality is largely in place, but social taboos and habits are very strong and difficult to break.
Empowered Women event organized by CorD magazine and aim was dedicated to strengthening the fight for gender equality and empowering women, especially the vulnerable. Participants heard that there have been important and good changes, but that society still has a lot of work to do.
Neda Lukić, editor-in-chief of CorD magazine, emphasized in her welcome address that all topics of women’s empowerment must be the focus of both state and society as a whole, especially in local communities.
Professor Dr Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia and president of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, said that there has been progress in the empowerment of women, but that it is not enough. Differences are most often seen in salaries, by the time they reach retirement, the income gap will increase to 50 percent.
The meeting at the City Hall was also attended by H.E. Annika Ben David, Ambassador of Sweden. She pointed out that it is very important that the example of gender equality should be firmly established in the family. In addition to a good legal framework, Sweden has a number of educational examples that are useful for girls and for boys to help develop an awareness of the need for gender equality.
For Violeta Jovanović, executive director of NALED and president of Ethno Network, gender equality in Serbia is extremely important because women make up half of our society. Even so, only 14% of women own real estate and 24% own agricultural land. One third are entrepreneurs and owners of small and micro enterprises and shops and are self-employed, and as many as three out of four women living in rural areas are not paid for their work.
Speaking about the situation in industry and the presence of women in company management structures, Vera Nikolić Dimić, executive director of AmCham, emphasized that women in responsible positions in companies felt the consequences of the global Covid pandemic more than their male colleagues. Working from home, women have taken on more responsibilities for children and household chores.