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33rd NEWSLETTER  ON SOCIAL INCLUSION AND POVERTY REDUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Gender Equality Index for Serbia Launched

Prof. Zorana Mihajlović PhD, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure
 

The Republic of Serbia is the first country outside the European Union which has introduced the EU Gender Equality Index. Before you is the First Report on the Index of Gender Equality in the Republic of Serbia 2016. The Gender Equality Index is an instrument which measures gender equality in six domains: knowledge, work, money, health, time, power, and two satellite domains: violence and intersecting inequalities.

The gender equality index in the Republic of Serbia is 40.6%, and the index of the EU Member States is 52.9%. This number shows that Serbia has almost reached the halfway point towards achieving gender equality according to European standards. The greatest success in terms of gender equality has been achieved in the domain of power at the national level, which shows that the introduction of quotas for women’s political participation has been successful. On the other hand, the biggest setback in achieving gender equality in relation to the EU was recorded in the domain of work and money. The gender equality index proves that the measurement of gender equality is highly important for developing public policies and measures in this field.

The initiative for calculating the Gender Equality Index in the Republic of Serbia was launched by the Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, with the great support of the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius, which developed the index in the EU. (...)

In the last two years, Serbia has made gender equality a priority area in terms of structural reforms and public policies. It formed the Coordinating Body for Gender Equality, adopted the new National Strategy for Gender Equality (2016-2020) and the accompanying Activity Plan (2016-2018), drafted a new law on equality between women and men which is to be adopted and introduced gender budgeting in public finance. (...)

Our country’s political goal is to join the European Union. This means that all our citizens, both men and women, should be provided with a decent standard of living and working in the Republic of Serbia. Therefore, we should strive to help our country reach gender equality, banish stereotypes about male and female gender roles and eliminate gender-based violence. Gender equality should become a principle by which public policies are formed as well as the lifestyle of every man and woman. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that we introduce the Gender Equality Index and I call on all stakeholders in our society to help us realise the vision of development which will enable a better future for us all.

Read the Introduction to the Report on the Gender Equality Index for the Republic of Serbia.

NEWS

ACTIVITIES OF THE SOCIAL INCLUSION UNIT

 

Serbia Adopts Gender Equality Index

Initiated by Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Serbia has become the first country outside the European Union which has introduced the EU Index of Gender Equality. The whole process of Index implementation was supported by the European Institute for Gender Equality which developed the Index in the EU.

The Gender Equality Index represents the mechanism for measuring the gender equality through six domains: knowledge, work, money, health, time, power, and two satellite domains: violence and intersecting inequalities. According to the First Report on the Index of Gender Equality, the Gender Equality Index in the Republic of Serbia is 40.6%, while the index of the EU Member States is 52.9%.

The Gender Equality Index is a crucial instrument for future public policies in the field of gender equality and also important instrument for measuring the gender sensitivity of general public policies.

Click here to download the “2016 Gender Equality Index” Report


Grants Awarded for Best Project Proposals within the “Support for Innovative Approaches to Increasing Employment and Employability of Youth” competition

“Support for Innovative Approaches to Increasing Employment and Employability of Youth” competition was completed with the grants being awarded to the ten best project proposals.

Applications for the call were submitted by 122 civil society organizations in cooperation with the private sector, while the Committee for the Evaluation of Project Proposals was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit.

Click here to download the final list of applicants and approved projects.


Round-Table on the Status of the Roma Community Held in the Context of European Union Accession Process

The Office for Human and Minority Rights, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit and Roma Information Centre held a round-table in order to analyse the accession process from the perspective of Chapter 23, with the emphasis on the protection of the rights of Roma men and women.

In the context of the opening of Chapters 23 and 24, the Roma community’s status is of the immediate significance for the realization of human and minority rights, therefore, the Roma community issue is one of the most important ones.On this occasion, Head of the Roma Information Centre from Kragujevac, Rozalija Ilić, presented the results of the survey regarding Chapter 23 – Protection of Roma Minority Rights.


“Women and access to economic possibilities in Serbia” Conference Held

Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the World Bank organised, on November 16, 2015, the “Women and access to economic possibilities” conference in the Hotel Metropole in Belgrade.

The aim of the conference was to raise the discussion on improving women’s access to possibilities on the labour market during the process of adopting the new National Strategy for Gender Equality in Serbia (2016–2020). The programme of the conference was divided into three panel discussions. The first panel was dedicated to the gender equality regulatory framework, the second panel dealt with the results of the gender equality analysis and monitoring the gender gap, the third panel was concentrated on the Labour law and employment possibilities for women. The conference was attended by the representatives of national and international institutions, as well as representatives of civil society organisations.

Click here to learn more about the conference and to download the presentations used by the speakers.


Activities under the programme "Local Initiatives for Increasing Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction”

“Initiative for Social Inclusion” Roundtable Held in Loznica

A roundtable dedicated to the first presentation of the Social Protection Strategy in Loznica 2016-2020 was held on 25 December 2015. The goal was presenting the results of the work of all stakeholders in the process of drafting the Social Protection Strategy of the city of Loznica.

The participants of the event discussed measures and activities for implementing the goals of this strategy, from the plan for the development of social protection services in Loznica for the 2016-2020 period, to securing financial incentives for licencing service providers from the public, civil and private sector, and developing a multisectoral cooperation protocol through the network of all social protection actors. Additionally, discussions were held on establishing a transparent system for ordering social protection services in accordance with the existing legal framework, as well as developing capacities for participation in the public procurement procedure for social protection services.

“Additional Education Support Measures for Children from Socially Vulnerable Groups in the Municipality of Irig” Professional Public Debate

A professional public debate entitled “Additional Educational Support Measures for Children from Socially Vulnerable Groups in the Municipality of Irig” was held on 9 December in Irig. Participants at the debate included professional teams for inclusive education from all educational institutions within the territory of the municipality of Irig and representatives of the Social Work Centre of the municipality of Irig.

The aim of the debate was to develop cooperation and partnership among the professional teams of the institutions at all three levels of education in the field of social inclusion and improvement of educational support to children from socially vulnerable groups, implemented as part of the project “NAŠA DECA”, implemented by the Centre for Working with Children, Youth and the Family “Vrdničak”.

Guide to Social Protection Rights and Services in the City of Niš Developed

The Centre for the Development of civil Society “Protecta” prepared a Guide to Social Protection Rights and Services in the City of Niš, created as part of the project “Quality Social Protection in the Local Community”, implemented in partnership with the city municipality of Pantelej.

The main goal of the Guide is to introduce citizens to the rights and measures of material support established by the Law on Social Protection and local decisions, as well as to the social protection services that can be made use of; basic data on institutions and other organizations providing for their implementation; conditions for the use of such rights and services and the required documents, as well as the place and method for acquiring them. Click here to download the Guide to Social Protection Rights and Services in the City of Niš.

OPEN CALLS

Open Call for Inclusive Academy (Deadline: 16/2/2016)
“Get Started for Business” Competition Starts (Deadline: 29/2/2016)
Europe for Citizens: Public Call (Deadline: 1/3/2016)
First Public Call Issued for Projects under COSME Programme (Deadline: 14/4/2016)
Social Innovation Tournament (Deadline: 15/5/2016)
Public Call for Support to Cross-Border Cooperation Projects (Deadline: 31/12/2016)
You may follow the news on open calls regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/tenders

READ MORE...

Development Strategy in the Field of Public Policy and Legislative Process Management Adopted
Online Week 2016
Promotion of “Indicators for Development” Platform
European Commission Initiative to Increase Use of Secondary Raw Materials in Markets
“Temporary Housing Model – Concept to Implementation at the Example of a Roma Settlement”
Donacije.rs: Help Social Enterprises Implement their Ideas and Do Good for the Community
VIRTUS Award Winners for 2015 Announced
Interactive “Accessibility Map” – Relevant Information on Accessibility of Locations in Serbia
You may follow the news on social inclusion and poverty reduction regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/

SOCIAL INCLUSION BLOG

SAŠA MASAL: Becoming a Woman – Transition during Studies

Gender identity is something we are introduced to during the earliest years of our lives. All those inherent properties in us that can be stereotypically categorized as “manly” or “feminine” are further shaped by our immediate environment and the people around us. By the time we reach faculty and complete the process of socialization in the gender received by birth, most of us have already rather comfortably taken residence in our little box marked M or F, not even thinking of questioning it, as we are occupied by lectures, the first exams, and everything else brought on by student life.

Until, from the sea of lecture notes, a woman’s head surfaced, deciding to seek out answers to what has been troubling her, after two decades of silence and dormancy. That girl was me.

A textbook example of a transsexual person is one who exhibits the first signs of a lack of balance between their physical body and gender identity during the earliest years of their life (…) After years and years of acting out a life that was not my own, and fighting the ever increasing void within it, the time had come when I could no longer lie to myself, and it was time to unleash the girl within me who could no longer wait. During the second semester of the first year of studies, I walked the streets of Novi Sad for the first time as a girl. (...)

I had the most problematic situation with the administration, since by law, trans persons in Serbia have the right to personal documents with the adequate name and sex only upon completing a surgical sex correction. Life would be so much easier and simpler, not just for me as a trans person, but also for those employed in the administration, if adequate laws were to be adopted on transgender and transsexual persons, regulating personal documents for persons in transition, as currently advocated by CA Egal. (…)

I will only be proud of my success once I am legally recognized as a girl, whether after a surgical sex correction or upon the adoption of a law on transgender persons, and I would be happy if ambitious and intelligent generations of future trans persons found it much easier and painless to pass through the transition process, legally fully recognized as what they are – young, brave and dedicated people who want to contribute to society and be part of it.

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

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

SUCCESS STORY

Three Young People Found Employment at “Two Cups”

On a chilly winter afternoon, every now and then neighbours enter the doors of the modest, yet charming café “Dve šolje” (Two Cups) in the very heart of Novi Beograd’s Block 45. (...) Although a mere few hundred yards away the locales of large shopping malls blaze away and the popular rafts sway tied to the banks of the Sava, the citizens of this, and the neighbouring blocks prefer to drop in at “Dve šolje”.

The café started working in August 2014, and is the first social enterprise started by the Centre for the Development of an Inclusive Society, a non-government organization with a long history of working on the development of inclusion and the improvement of the status of persons with disabilities. Themselves the bearers and partners of numerous projects for the (self)employment of persons with disabilities, they have decided – says Aleksandar Bogdanović, the founder and director of the Centre – to see in practice how a social enterprise operates in Serbia.

Five young people have found work at “Dve šolje”: three on a permanent basis, while two more are engaged during the summer season, in accordance with the amount of work. (...) Although at first sight it may appear to be the work of an architect, a specialist in interior decoration, the inside is – as our interlocutor states – the result of resourcefulness. The greatest effort was invested in respecting the principles of accessibility. The entrance is wide enough for persons in wheelchairs, the service counter is also lower than the standard ones; they spent days looking for an adequate sink for the toilet, so that everything would be in accordance with inclusive design.

For the first year or two, as Bogdanović says, they expect to operate so as to stay “at zero”. They are proud to provide regular salaries for their employees, to regularly pay their supplier bills. They are happy that, through educating suppliers on social entrepreneurship and the status of persons with disabilities, they stimulated some of them to employ persons with disabilities, such as the Mlinprodukt Company, where they buy coffee.

We ask Aleksandar about his impressions after a year and a half of doing business, and about potential state activities that could facilitate the work of social enterprises?

– Primarily, a legal framework needs to be established with easements, at least during the first year of business. For example, like in other countries in the region, to treat furnishing a facility as an investment. Likewise, it would mean a lot if the officers in SBRA, local self-government, and city administrations had sufficient knowledge to provide, because the road through the bureaucratic forest is hard and filled with obstacles. (...) The text in its entirety can be found 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