Montenegro is aiming at achieving gender equality by 2017

Oct 17, 2012

In every third case of family violence in Montenegro, the aggressor tried to kill the victim. What is even more appalling is that the victim is held responsible for causing violence, according to every fourth respondent that took part in a recent UNDP Study on domestic violence. It doesn’t take a scientist to guess that women comprise the majority of domestic violence victims in the world, Montenegro included. And yet, it is not only domestic violence that poses a huge societal hazard in this country; it is also women’s economic situation coupled with their political marginalization. Women can hardly bring decisions about their future in a country where only 11 % of women sit in the Parliament, only 2 women are ministers and only 5% of them own some property. However, there is a group of enthusiastic professionals in Montenegro who persistently fight against women’s gloomy prospects and remain committed to achieving gender equality and women empowerment – one of the eight Millennium Development Goals.      

With this goal in mind, representatives of the Gender Equality Department of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Montenegro and other relevant ministries, state authorities and non-governmental sector, gathered in a two day meeting to develop an Action plan for achieving gender equality in Montenegro for the period from 2013 to 2017. With the support from the UNDP IPA 2010 Gender Programme and the European Union, helped by the professional expertise of Ms Lovorka Marinović, international consultant and Ms Višnja Ljubičić, gender equality ombudsperson of Croatia, this document will determine a set of activities to ensure achievement of gender equality in the mentioned period.

The Action Plan for achieving gender equality in Montenegro in the period from 2013 to 2017 is being developed in the framework of CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan, and the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee. The overarching framework is the country’s European integration process, where each of the 33 areas under negotiation should include gender-sensitive approach and policies.

The first draft Strategy and Action Plan for achieving gender equality is based on an analysis of the results achieved so far and it examines in detail the experiences of the neighbouring Republic of Croatia, in order to gain some knowledge and experience with regards to the European requirements in this domain.

Participants in this two day gathering had an opportunity to learn about the experiences of Croatia in strengthening institutional mechanisms for achieving gender equality and in strengthening resources in this domain, as well as about Croatia’s special dedication to the following priority areas:

  • Strengthening of the administrative capacities of the Department of Gender Equality for better performance, coordination and cooperation;
  • Strengthening and interconnecting local and national institutional mechanisms for the implementation of gender equality;
  • Review of national legislation’s harmonization with the EU Acquis;
  • Implementation of the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations;
  • Provide funding to ensure program activities;
  • Collection and analysis of data on the state of women's rights in Montenegro, as well as education in all areas and at all levels;
  • Encouraging media activities in order to inform the public about women's rights and gender equality.

This group of enthusiastic professionals is aiming at completing the Action Plan by late November, when it will be presented to the public and submitted to the Government for approval in December 2012. This is how gender equality in Montenegro will become an attainable goal, with concrete steps to achieving it by 2017.

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