Balkan countries still need to deliver on gender equality

© European Union - European Parliament

© European Union – European Parliament

EP Press Release – Women’s and gender equality rights in the Balkans countries exist on paper, but in everyday’s life, women do not fully enjoy them, because either they are not informed enough or they are not respected, said members on Tuesday in a resolution on the women’s rights in the Balkan accession countries. The Parliament approved a set of recommendations to help address gender equality issues for seven Balkan countries.

 “I am glad to see that women’s rights have been improved in most of the Balkan countries. Many laws have been adopted to comply with EU law. Only we should not forget to translate these laws into proper action. Women have to be able to make use of the rights they have on paper in their everyday life. Institutions and a financial framework have yet to be put in place in many Balkan countries” said Marije Cornelissen (Greens/ EFA, Netherlands), who is responsible for the dossier.

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) call for promotion of women’s presence in the labour market as well as in economic and political decision making bodies. They stress the importance of an awareness raising campaign in the fight against stereotypes, discrimination and domestic violence in the region. Women victims of wartime crimes, genocide and sexual violence need to have access to justice, reiterate MEPs.

Croatia: quota system

“A positive exception is Croatia, which is at the threshold of becoming an EU Member State. Whilst writing my report Croatia immediately complied with several of the recommendations. They even have an ombudsperson for gender issues, something even many European Union Member States can’t say”, said Marije Cornelissen.

MEPs call Croatia to promote female representation in political parties, local and national bodies and for quotas stipulating 40% presentation of women in economics and political decision making. 

Albania: committee to deal with women’s rights and gender equality

MEPs ask the Albanian Government to establish gender’s quota system for the next parliamentary elections and to establish a parliamentary committee to deal with women’s rights and gender equality.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo: increase funds to guarantee gender equality

In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, the main aim is to raise the level of awareness of the gender legislation among the population, as well as justice officers.

MEPs call on Kosovo authorities to make use of SOS hot-line for victims of domestic violence and gender related violence.

Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro: greater financial support

MEPs call on Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to increase human and financial resources available for the gender equality. The adopted resolution finally urges the Serbian Government to improve cooperation with NGOs and to reinforce the training of justice officers.

Copyright: European Parliament

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