On 6 April 2022, the Center for Democracy Foundation organized a public debate entitled: Contribution of the Economic Reforms Programme (ERP) to Achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality.

Introductory speakers at the debate were: Sanja Mešanović (Deputy Director of the Public Policy Secretariat), Marijana Pajvančić (Professor and activist), Nevena Petrušić (Professor and President of the Women’s Research Center in Niš), Čedanka Andrić (President of the United Branch Trade Union Independence), Aleksandra Vladisavljević (Consultant and Gender Responsive Policies and Budgeting Expert), Lana Hadži-Niković (CEVES, Project Coordinator for SDGs for All Platform ), Nataša Vučković (Center for Democracy Foundation) and Ivona Gvozdenović (Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation).

Gordana Čomić, Minister (Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue), Ljiljana Lučić (former State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs), Nada Lazić (Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue), Milica Glišić (Citizens’ Association Atina) and others, also took part in the discussion.

During the debate, participants analyzed the extent to which the gender mainstreaming principles were integrated into the ERP, that is: to what extent has gender mainstreaming been integrated into structural reforms and has the impact of such reforms been envisaged and well thought out, in terms of gender inequality and discrimination?

It was established that the ERP has not only failed to include the gender perspective but it was written from an androcentric perspective, which increases the risk of reproducing existing gender inequalities and discrimination patterns. Therefore, gender inequality in structural reforms has been identified as one of the key obstacles to Serbia’s further development, at all levels..

The CDF and other civil society organisations which paticipated in the consultation process for the development of ERP in December of 2021, emphasized that the document failed to include a single structural reform concerning social policy.

The SDGs are mutually inter-connected and economic development is unattainable until the conditions for decent work and improved quality of life are ensured The key issue discussed during the debate was: how can we improve the lives of the population, women in particular? We must continue to insist on identifying the actual impact that the reforms will have on society as a whole and particularly on the lives of women belonging to different sub-groups, which is the essence of the ’Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) principle.

The debate was part of the Thematic Group – Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls established within the SDGs for All Platform.

Download: Analysis of the Gender Perspective in the Economic Reform Programme for the period 2022-2024 (with Summary)

Video: https://youtu.be/munhlmnNYKM

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