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40th NEWSLETTER  ON SOCIAL INCLUSION AND POVERTY REDUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Violence against Women is Nobody’s Private Affair

Prof. Dr Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality

I am extremely proud of Serbia’s involvement in the global campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” that started on 25 November with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and lasting until 10 December, when the International Human Rights Day is celebrated. Through a number of activities conducted during these 16 days Serbia will rise with the entire world and say: “Stop violence against women!”

More than 30 mothers, sisters and wives have been murdered as of the beginning of this year through domestic violence and in intimate partner relations, a large number of them by illegal firearms, as was the case in Žitište. A total of 196 women have been killed since 2010, with estimates indicating over 320 women victims of violence during the past 10 years.

The implementation of a decisive agenda for combating violence against women, as per the mandate of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, involves everyone, including line ministries and institutions, local self-governments, civil society and citizens of Serbia.

The National Assembly, acting upon the proposal of the Ministry of Justice, adopted the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence a few days ago. This law is important not only because it will regulate the issue of punishing violent offenders, it will also provide for greater protection for victims, unified data gathering and penalties for those failing to act in accordance with their legally prescribed official duties. This is an important law aimed at punishing offenders and reducing the number of women victims of violence.

We initiated the implementation of the project “Integrated Response to Violence against Women and Girls” in Serbia in early September, in partnership with line ministries and UN agencies. The key goals of this project are drafting a new National Strategy against Violence, establishing a National Help Hotline, support to victims of violence, work with offenders, prevention of violence among children in schools, working with youth.

Also under way is the implementation of the campaign under the slogan “Report weapons. Prevent violence. Until it's too late.” in cooperation with the European Union and UNDP SEESAC, intended to have two types of results. One the one hand, we want to increase public awareness of the risks posed by firearms, particularly illegal firearms in households and the need for reporting them, since they can be used as a tool for violence, while on the other hand, that we cannot turn a blind eye to violence and we must report it and prevent it.

Serbia was the 8th country in the world to ratify the Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women in 2013. The Convention started being applied in August 2014, and in June next year – 2017 – we will report to the GREVIO committee tasked with monitoring the application of this Convention. This Convention was ratified through the joint efforts of the state, particularly the Women’s Parliamentarian Network and civil sector, and represents a true example of synergy in cooperation.

You will note that during all 16 days important buildings in Belgrade will be lit in orange, as a symbol of an optimistic future, free of violence against women and girls, starting with the buildings of the Government, the National Assembly, the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, the Bridge on Ada, the Belgrade Victor and “Albanija” Palace.

I am pleased that the number of activities against violence is on the increase and I hope the effects will be sustainable. I would like us to introduce a new statistic. Instead of the number of murdered women, we should start counting violent offenders who will be punished by the law for their violent behaviour. The new Law on the Prevention of Family Violence will help with this, along with the involvement of all of society, starting from the family, the school, the neighbourhood. Let us all rise and declare that a real man never raises his voice or his hand against a woman.

We are a proud nation, so let us be proud of the fact that we have no violence in Serbia. Let us all grow together and fight to achieve a vision of development that will serve to achieve a common and better future for all of us. Violence against women is nobody’s private affair. Let us keep women safe, let us keep one another safe.

NEWS

ACTIVITIES OF THE SOCIAL INCLUSION UNIT


“Guidelines for Social Impact Assessment” Published

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia published a publication entitled “Guidelines for Social Impact Assessment”. The goal of these guidelines is to assist public administration, as well as any other social stakeholder, in assessing “social impact” when assessing the impact of public policy. It is based on a list of various forms of effects and issues taken from the European Commission guidelines for assessing impact on society, harmonized with the national specificities of the Republic of Serbia.

We hereby urge the public to use these guidelines in the process of decision making, identifying potential strategic options for public policy, as well as monitoring the effects of public policy on society.

The publication is accessible here.


“Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities in Serbia” Study

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the World Bank have jointly prepared the report entitled “Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities in Serbia”.

The report “Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities in Serbia” is primarily aimed at better understanding factors affecting economic opportunities provided for women, an area dominated by inequality. The publication deals with the options for women to succeed and become stronger in very important segments of life, such as education and health, and to participate in the labour market and provide themselves access to employment. During the review of institutions and policy measures relevant for gender equality as part of the acquisition of economic opportunities in Serbia, the intent was to indicate things that need improvement in the field of policies and programmes, to encourage the participation of women in the workplace and thus, overall, make the economy more productive. The analysis mostly relies on the use of a new set of data for Serbia, i.e. the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), as well as data from the Labour Force Survey.

Click here to download the report “Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities in Serbia”.


Train the Trainers Event Held for Increasing Capacities of Educational Institutions to Write Projects for the Improvement of Quality, Equity and Efficiency of Work

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, organized the first part of the “train the trainers” event “Increasing the Capacity of Educational Institutions in Serbia for Writing Project Proposals and Using Potential Sources of Funding to Improve the Quality, Equity and Efficiency of Work” on Fruška Gora on 19 and 20 November. The training will continue in December, and as of February the trained trainers will be tasked with further training employees in education.

The idea for the trainings arose after the publication of the “Guide for Schools, Teachers and Professional Associates: How to Find Information on Sources of Funding and Resources for Schools, Teachers and Professional Associates”, very well accepted among employees in education. The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit elaborated the issues from the Guideline, creating the training aimed at the dissemination of project-writing skills and knowledge to the greatest possible number of schools in Serbia, so as to enable staff to obtain additional funds to equip schools and improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as provide conditions for a more equitable education through developing competences and a support system within inclusive education.
 

OPEN CALLS

Public Call for Awarding Self-Employment Grants (Deadline: 9/12/2016)
Public Call for Support to Cross-Border Cooperation Projects (Deadline: 31/12/2016)
INTERREG Cross-Border Co-operation Programme Hungary-Serbia (Deadline: 31/1/2017)
Call for “Žana Borisavljević 2016” Award (Deadline: 31/1/2017)
You may follow the news on open calls regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/tenders

READ MORE...

Government Adopts Draft Law on Housing and Building Maintenance
Action Plan Adopted for the Open Government Partnership Initiative 2016 and 2017
Public Hearing on Draft Law on Amendments to Law on Local Self-Government
Ombudsman’s Announcement on Universal Children’s Day
Models of Rulebook on the Organization and Systematization in Local Self-Government Units
“Report on the Status of the Deaf Community in Serbia in the Field of Media, Availability of Interpreter Services and Education” Published
Roma Youth Association of Serbia Organizes Public Policy Training
Free Android App “Paraćin – Utility Problem”
AIESEC: “Youth Speak Forum” Once Again in Serbia this Year
European Semester Autumn Package: Working for a stronger and more inclusive economic recovery
BBC “100 Women” season returns for 2016
You may follow the news on social inclusion and poverty reduction regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/

SOCIAL INCLUSION BLOG

NADEŽDA SATARIĆ: Towards Establishing Better Intergenerational Understanding and Tolerance

The International Day of Tolerance has been celebrated on 16 November across the world ever since UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization, established it in 1995. The day is meant to remind people worldwide of the importance of respect and consideration for those different from us.

We also celebrate this day through various events at the national, regional and local level. This year, the municipality of Novi Beograd, i.e. the Centre for Care for the Elderly, Children and Persons with Disabilities “Novi Beograd”, organized a discussion with the participation of three generations – students of the VII and VIII grade of PS “Branko Radičević” from Novi Beograd, students of the Pharmaceutical-Physiotherapy School “Zvezdara”, professionals from the field of social protection and education, and elderly citizens. The main goal of the discussion was to increase the sensitivity of children, the young and the elderly, professionals and the broader public for the importance of tolerant behaviour among all members of society.

The audience consisted of nearly 200 participants from all three generations mentioned above. Through the introductory presentations, providing practical experiences and positive practice examples, the participants were able to familiarize themselves with the approach to be employed towards psychologically divergent persons, towards persons with a disability, towards children with development impairments and towards the elderly.

The participants were reminded that tolerance is the recognition, acceptance and respect for diversity. The key characteristics that need to be nurtured to be tolerant were presented. (…) Tolerance is not only the moral duty of all of us, but also a political and legal requirement and condition for peace among people. It involves much more than just compliance – it must be based on openness, communication, freedom of thought and belief, as well as knowledge.

The significance of the intergenerational dialog for increased tolerance towards the elderly was also pointed out. (...) Let us improve intergenerational dialogue, because it makes all of us richer, better and more tolerant people on the one hand, and on the other, it contributes to reducing stereotypes and prejudice towards others, which cause discrimination, intolerance, or even violence. This way, we make people different from us or belonging to a vulnerable social group included in the community, able to live a more dignified and better quality life.

The text in its entirety can be found on the Social Inclusion Blog.

Other texts by our bloggers can be found at: www.socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/blog/

SUCCESS STORY

The Reward is a Hug of Support

Teacher Snežana Kidžin from Pančevo has taught a large number of students to read and has prepared them for life, including six little ones who needed additional educational support, whether due to their development impairments or origin from families experiencing difficult circumstances, or due to them being extraordinarily gifted children.

What does inclusive education, introduced into the Serbian educational system in 2009, look like in practice; have the obstacles posed by the attitudes of teachers and parents been overcome; are the colleagues and parents sufficiently informed on the rights and obligations – there seems to be no better interlocutor for these subjects than Snežana, a modest, but highly professional teacher. One additional reason for the interview with Snežana is the fact that the presentation of her mathematics class for third grade, adapted for working with a student with impairments located on the autism spectrum, was awarded the special prize of the Network for Inclusive Education in 2014. She is also an educator in seminars, as a member of this Network, active in the school collective, in the professional team for inclusive education, support for the team for the protection of children from abuse and neglect in the field of the inclusion of children requiring development support, in the School Board. (...)

How did you react in 2009, when inclusive education was systematically introduced?

I was glad, because even before that I applied various methods of working with children who could not follow the regular programme for various reasons. In a way, I embraced this systemic change. Through my classes I always used methods and techniques of individualized work programmes. The introduction of inclusive education just brought along additional satisfaction. You know, in every generation you have students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, various intellectual capacities, children from socially vulnerable families. Not all children are equal. Every one of us is different, and not everyone can learn the same way, with the same success. Even before 2009 I worked by following the personal capacities of students. Inclusive education just made the framework better defined. (...)

Do you remember the first student you worked with using an individual plan of education?

Of course. It was a girl from the home for children without parental care. She was enrolled in school at nine years old, without having acquired social, hygienic habits, and many life skills. She could not express emotion: love, fear… We stayed an extra hour every day after class for her to do her homework. I made her personal primer. We worked slowly, but thoroughly. By fourth grade she did not manage to learn written letters, but she could calculate, write block letters… She acquired numerous life skills – how to behave in the street, in a shop; she went with the class to the theatre, the cinema. (…)

When did you feel rewarded?

Persons with autism are known to have difficulties making physical contact. One former student was in seventh grade when he just approached and hugged me. Namely, I was on sick leave, and upon my return we met in the yard. He asked me: “You are the teacher Snežana? Where were you?” I replied that I was sick, and now I came back to work. He approached and hugged me. That feeling is my greatest reward, because this confirmed that I was part of his life. (…)

Where does your professional dedication come from?

Work with children who require support should not be initiated with pity, because you will fail to see their potential. Occasional failures by the child do not mean the professional and personal failure of the teacher. The top professionals stand out through the myriad of ideas they have, the attitude that they can do anything, they have no fear, and are persistent in seeking solutions for any seemingly hopeless situation. That, I guess, is why they are called “top”. That is what I aspire to in my work.

The text in its entirety can be read here.

More success stories can be found at socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs
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Government of the Republic of Serbia
Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit
Vlajkovićeva 10,11070 Beograd, Srbija

E-mail sipru@gov.rs
Phone +381 11 311 4605, +381 11 311 4798, +381 11 213 7915