J. Joksimović: Women, active participants and potential of sustainable regional development
October 09 2018 | Belgrade
The Serbian Government recognises gender equality, the development of women's entrepreneurship and the improvement of their position in the labour market as essential elements of both the economic and social development strategy, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said today on the occasion of contract award for the implementation of first projects in the field of economic empowerment of women, worth RSD 30 million, out of a total of EUR 2 million allocated from the IPA 2016 funds.
Joksimović has said in the Government of the Republic of Serbia that today's contract award and everything the Government has been doing in this field in Serbia - in its municipalities and cities, truly shows the importance of gender equality and the need for women to be active participants and potential for sustainable economic and regional development.
"The economic empowerment of women is not only a matter of financial sustainability, but also of their better social and overall position, and my opinion is that, for women - particularly for those living in rural areas, the issues of dignified way of life and employment of their own potentials, skills and opportunities have, unfortunately, not yet been resolved," the Minister has said.
According to her, the contracts awarded to representatives of the civil society, municipalities and cities, funded from IPA funds, aim to improve the overall position of women.
"The contracts aim to improve not only the social position of women, although woman in Serbia is not, and must not be, a social category, but an active participant and potential for sustainable economic and regional development, that we have not sufficiently dealt with in the past decades," the Minister has said and has deemed important the fact that all important actors, from the Government of the Republic of Serbia to international organisations, such as the UN and the civil sector, have united around this important issue in recent years.
Joksimović has recalled that the task of the Government of the Republic of Serbia is also to provide the institutional framework and funds from the budget, as well as from all available funds and resources, especially from the EU and other bilateral partners.
She has added that it is important to recognise that local self-governments must use the money not only from the budget, but also from the funds that are available to Serbia as a candidate country. This means putting in a bit more effort, investing into specific skills and knowledge, preparations for applications and project writing, as well as more resources for sustainable development at the local level.
Joksimović has added that gender equality is part of the 2030 Agenda, the results of which will be presented next year at the UN by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić through a voluntary national report on meeting the goals of sustainable development.
"All this undoubtedly provides the most important framework for what we do in the field of EU integration, through the chapters and standards that we adopt, and one of the most important elements is to promote a society of equal opportunities and gender equality," she has said.
Head of EU Delegation Sem Fabrizi has recalled that he contracted the said project with ministers Joksimović and Zorana Mihajlović on 8 March, for which EUR 2 million have been allocated from the IPA funds. He has added that this is the first project of its kind in the region, and that this confirms that Serbia is once again taking over the leadership in this part of Europe.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Head of UN Women in Serbia Jelena Milovanović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Imre Kern, and Assistant Minister Veljko Kovačević.