More than 450 women, members of local assemblies from 90 municipalities across Serbia, participated in the 6th Women’s Parliamentary Network (WPN) Conference entitled “Women Building the Future”, which took place at the National Assembly House of the Republic of Serbia on October 19, 2018. The Conference was organized by WPN, National Assembly, UNDP and OSCE and supported by the Swiss Government.
The participants gathered to formulate further steps in strengthening women’s political participation in various areas including Sustainable Development Goals, digitalization, women empowerment and climate change.
Ursula Laubli, Head of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, Counsellor Embassy of Switzerland addressed the audience and emphasized that Swiss economic development projects are focused on strengthening women entrepreneurship and ensuring their greater employability, in particular among the vulnerable and excluded groups throughout Serbia. Ms. Laubli also noted that Switzerland adopted its first ever foreign policy on gender equality and women’s rights. This strategy puts special emphasis on women’s economic empowerment, political participation, sexual and reproductive health rights, and combatting gender-based violence, in line with the SDG 5, focused on Gender Equality.
Maja Gojkovic, Speaker of the National Assembly announced at the event that the National Assembly could adopt the new, modern Law on Gender Equality by the end of the year, prescribing the equal representation of women not just in the Parliament, but also in foreign delegations presenting the state abroad, as well as in the Executive Boards of the large corporations.
Steliana Nedera, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Serbia noted that the importance of women in creating a better future for all and in protection of our planet is unquestionable and thus women empowerment and gender equality have a special place in the UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. She stressed the importance of systemic and integrated response to violence against women and the role that Parliament has in adoption and enforcement of the Law on prevention of violence.
The Conference was organized within the project “Strengthening the Oversight Function and Transparency of the Parliament – 2nd Phase”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and supported by the Swiss Government, which has been providing support for the building of women’s parliamentary networks in Serbia since 2013.