Minister Marija Obradović said today, speaking about the state of gender equality in Serbia, during the thematic social dialogue on the starting points for the Draft Law on Gender Equality in the field of women’s participation in political and public life, that the figures are impressive, even better than the figures in many European countries, but we have a long way to go to empower women and provide both legal and practical bases for equality.

She stated that today we have the quantity, but that the quality should be made more visible and that young women, who are the bearers of the initiative for gender equality and greater participation of women in political life, should be acquainted with the history of that process, which began with the introduction of multiparty politics in Serbia.

Obradović welcomed the continuation of the work of the Women’s Parliamentary Network, an informal group of Members of Parliament from various parliamentary groups, and in this convocation of the National Assembly and reminded that in February 2013 the Members of Parliament in question managed to agree to “jump over party fences” and form this group that yielded many positive results.

Referring to the statistical data, the Minister pointed out that the situation at the national level is very favorable, bearing in mind that a significant number of women hold positions in the Government, from the Prime Minister to other Ministers, of whom there are 10. In the National Assembly, almost 40 percent of the Members of Parliament are women, and at the local level, we have as many as 150 women in various leadership positions. She also stated that there is a larger number of women in the entire Serbian administration, as 61% of women work in the state administration, 55.9%n work in the APV administration, and 58% work in the local administration, and she concluded that the administration system in Serbia rests on women and their work.

“However, the place where I would personally like to see more women are political parties, National Councils of National Minorities, and citizens’ associations. We need to empower those women, in addition to the women at the local level, not to hesitate and not to give up. That is why solidarity, support, and our experience are important, and the next important step is the quotas in political parties, a mission which I will work on and that I will advocate,” said Minister Obradović.

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