Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Alt text for imageYoung women shaping the future of Montenegro through foresight gaming. Photo: UNDP/ Milos Vujovic, Mediabox

Equality between women and men is not just a goal in itself: it is a precondition for the fulfilment of human rights and human development in general. The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. This effort includes advocating for women’s and girls’ equal rights, combating discriminatory practices and challenging the roles and stereotypes that affect inequalities and exclusion. In Montenegro, we support the country to set up gender agenda with international frameworks (EU & UN) and national development priorities.

In Montenegro, complex economic, social and political environment shadows and pushes women’s issues aside. Gender stereotypes persist and overall social atmosphere is not supportive to gender equality. Institutional gender mechanisms - Department for Gender Equality within the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Parliamentary Board for Gender Equality - are severely under-mandated, under-staffed and under-budgeted. Due to persisting gender-based disadvantages, women are vulnerable and lack political and economic empowerment, including protection against family violence. There is only 18% of women in the National Parliament and 26% in local parliaments; only 3 out of 17 ministers are women, there are 2 women among 21 mayors, while female participation in entrepreneurship is below 10%. 

Our Goal is to support the country to fulfill its commitments towards achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment as part of the post-2015 development agenda, while leading by example and mainstreaming gender equality into every aspect of UNDP’s work.

The specific objectives on women’s empowerment are strengthened capacities, improved mechanisms and advanced policies in the following three areas:

  • Violence against women and domestic violence
  • Political empowerment of women
  • Economic agenda for women

How we work

Alt text for image1 billion rising against violence in family - Podgorica dancing, February 2014. Photo: Dusko Miljanic

UNDP has developed a wide network of partners in the country, from Government bodies, local governance, and civil society organizations to international community. Within the infrastructure of Gender Programme IPA 2010 multi-stakeholders participation was ensured through thematic Advisory Boards for every of three areas we work in (violence, politics, economy) where prominent members of Parliament, government, civil society, business and international organizations contributed to dialogue around issues as well as into potential solutions. In addition, these forums for dialogue also served as promotional spheres for UN and EU values, captured in numerous international conventions on human rights and gender equality.  Facilitated dialogue created cohesion and solid ground for strengthened national ownership over gender equality goals also utilizing overall UN and UNDP expertise in various issues related to development (anti-discrimination, women’s rights, social integration, green economy, environment protection, entrepreneurship, etc.).

What have we accomplished so far?

Alt text for imageCertified gender equality trainers in politics. Photo: UNDP / Vlado Kilibarda
  • Legal and institutional frameworks  developed to enable better legal protection and introduction of system of support for victims of violence in family.
  • First national toll-free SOS line for victims of domestic violence introduced.
  • Women's organizations were empowered through education and advocacy process, creating stronger linkages between civil servants working in this area and the women's NGOs.
  • Strengthened multi-sectorial approach in addressing violence against women and violence in family. 
  • Awareness raising work based on perception survey contributed to increased media reporting about the issue.
  • Increased number of reported cases of violence from average  500 cases to  1450 cases annually.  
  • Introduced affirmative action / 30% quota for women in electoral law which resulted with increased political participation of women
  • Introduced party quotas in two parliamentarian political parties, while in 8 established women’s groups and gender equality addressing in party programms.
  • The programme inaugurated 18 certified gender equality trainers in politics.
  • 4 piloted municipalities create affirmative and supportive local environment for women’s entrepreneurship through introduction of supportive mechanisms for women entrepreneurs.
  • Introduced credit line with favorable conditions for women in state owned Investment Development Fund.   

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