The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, participated at the conference titled “For a Cohesive Europe: Gender Equality and Women’s Rights” organized by the Embassy of Romania. He pointed out that equal rights for men and women is one of the fundamental European values, and added that International Women’s Day on March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate successes in this area, but that it is also an opportunity to reflect on what this global day means.

“For the European Union, equality is embedded in our DNA, in our agreements and policies. We can say that the European Union is a pioneer in gender equality, and this is something we should be proud of, but this should not comfort us, as there is still a lot to do,” said Fabrizi.

The European Commission adopted a five-year strategy and identified five areas in which we need to be very careful: increasing female labour-market participation and equal economic participation of women and men; reducing inequalities in earnings and pensions; promoting equality between women and men in decision-making; combating gender-based violence and protecting victims; and promoting women’s rights in all areas, said the Head of the EU Delegation. He added that data in recent years indicates an increase in women’s employment in countries of the Union, and thanked Romania for placing this topic at the forefront of its chairmanship.

Fabrizi stated that the participation of women in politics varies from 20 percent to more than 50 percent, and that Serbia is good on this issue, but that it needs to strengthen equality in public administration and that the law on gender equality must be adopted. The EU launched a three-year project in Serbia aimed at strengthening capacities of public administration precisely in gender equality, reminded the Ambassador.

President of the National Assembly Maja Gojkovic announced that the law on gender equality will be adopted by the end of the year. Without full equality, there can be no social and economic progress, said Gojkovic, and added that it is particularly important to combat gender discrimination in the labour market.

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic stated that sustainable development implies that every individual has a role in society and that the fight for gender equality is a fight for the rights of every individual. She concluded that it is important to fight against misogyny and added that equality of opportunity must be created in the country.