Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation and the Center for Democracy Foundation organized a public debate On February 7, entitled “Economic Empowerment of Women in Serbia and the 2030 Agenda”. The debate was held at the “Miljenko Dereta” conference space in Belgrade and through the online platform Zoom.
Economic empowerment implies increasing the ability of women and men to participate, contribute and benefit from the growth process under the conditions of adequate recognition of their contribution, dignity and ability to negotiate a fairer distribution of growth benefits. Economic empowerment of women includes the possibility of access to and equal participation in existing markets, access to and control over produced resources, access to dignified work, management of one’s own time, life and body; the right to vote, mediate and participate in economic decision-making at all levels, from households to international institutions (UN Women, 2021). Economic empowerment of women is the basis for achieving gender equality, and relevant development goals set by the 2030 Agenda.
Opening the debate, Natasa Vuckovic (Center for Democracy Foundation) pointed that the “SDGs for ALL” Platform implies the establishment of a framework for public dialogue among the most important non-state actors in Serbia, such as civil society, corporate sector, academic and research community, professional associations, media and citizens, concerning the harmonization of Serbia’s development priorities with the goals listed in the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.
Ivona Gvozdenovic (Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation) emphasized that the activities within the Platform are carried out at both the national and a local level. The Platform is committed to consolidating local development policies and building capacity of local associations, as these organizations directly work with the most vulnerable groups in society.
Nada Lazic (Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue) spoke on the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality with particular emphasis on women participation in management and supervision. In addition to the Law, the Strategy for Gender Equality for the period from 2021 to 2030 has also been adopted, and a public debate on the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Gender Employment is underway, which are all circumstances that should improve the position of women, especially from the economic perspective.
In her closing remarks, Natasa Vuckovic (FCD) said that it was important to understand that the 2030 Agenda is not just a mechanism in itself but is closely linked with other development and reform processes, such as the European integration. As a country, we should also monitor those development indicators that have been set at the level of European Union member states in relation to the 2030 Agenda, which is a topic to be discussed at one the next debates.
The following participants spoke at the event: Marina Savkovic, PhD (Singidunum University), Milana Rikanovic (UN Women), Sanja Popovic Pantic (Association of Business Women of Serbia), Dina Rakin (Coalition for the Development of the Solidarity Economy), Lidija Kuzmanov (independent consultant), Biljana Maletin (Women’s Platform for the Development of Serbia), Milja Dimitrijevic (Union of Physicians and Pharmacists), Sarita Bradas (Center for Democracy Foundation), representatives of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republic Statistical Office of Serbia, National Employment Service, Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities, representatives of civil society organizations and others.
Below you will find a link to the research conducted within the thematic group dedicated to gender equality, which served as a basis for the debate: Economic Empowerment of Women in Serbia and the 2030 Agenda