Belgrade, 5 March 2021 - Women Mayors and Presidents of Municipalities in Serbia today signed the Charter of Women's Solidarity, committing that they will, irrespective of their political party affiliation, cooperate and act jointly in order to achieve full gender equality in Serbia.
The signing of the Charter is the first step in the establishment of the Network of Women Mayors and Presidents of Municipalities in Serbia, which was initiated by the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government (MPALS), Marija Obradović, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia.
„The signing of the Charter of Women's Solidarity is a small symbol of good will among 22 women mayors and presidents of municipalities in Serbia. In Serbia we have achieved the quantity with respect to gender equality and this is a reason for pride, but through this women’s network we aspire to make the quality of their work, which is unquestionable, more visible“, said the Minister Marija Obradović.
Obradović also stated that this is a new moment in history, because never before have we had in Serbia 22 women mayors and presidents of municipalities. She added that today the Ministry, with the support of the UNDP, brought together women leading towns and municipalities with the goal for them to get to know each other and to understand that they have sisterly support, and invited them to network and exchange experiences.
„It is up to you to develop contacts, to understand that you have 21 sister who can help you, as well as 15 sisters who are for the first time in such positions, and also that the MPALG is your home, whose doors are always open and where we can assist and support you“, said Obradović in her address.
„UNDP is committed to achieving gender equality, and one way of achieving this goal is by having more women in leadership positions, as well as their empowerment and networking. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, UNDP will assist the work of the Network of Women Mayors and Presidents of Municipalities, by advancing their knowledge and skills and supporting the communication among members. By signing the Charter, the women leading towns and municipalities in Serbia demonstrated their readiness to act in solidarity, determination and courage, and lead by example to encourage other women in public and political life to associate among themselves, and to be the role models for future generations of women. We believe that working together, mutual support and exchange of ideas and good practices will help them to successfully lead their towns and municipalities towards sustainable socio-economic development, better quality of life for women and men and improved gender equality in local communities“, stated Francine Pickup, Resident Representative of UNDP in Serbia.
The purpose of this gathering was to enable networking and exchange of experiences among women appointed to the positions of mayors and presidents of municipalities in order to agree future steps in their cooperation and identify the type of support that is most needed in order for them to overcome challenges in their local communities.
Serbia is among leading countries in Europe in terms of representation of women in decision-making positions in political life, with the Government headed by a woman Prime-Minister, women being half of all ministers, and women accounting for 40 of all MP’s in the National Assembly.
Of the total 169 local governments, in 22 of them women are mayors or presidents of municipalities.
The establishment of the Network of Women Mayors and Presidents of Municipalities in Serbia should assist in transferring the good practice of representation of women in the political life from national level to the local level, thus contributing to achieving gender equality.