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In marking of International Women’s Day on Saturday March 7, we held the traditional Mentoring Walk in city of Niš. The program "Share Your Knowledge - Become a Mentor" was a part of a global mentoring walks initiative coordinated by the Vital Voices, which was held at approximately the same time in 75 cities in 35 countries around the world, with the main goal to show the power of women's leadership and unite women in support of the model She for Her. The gathering continued with public debate on the topic "Women's Rights in the XXI century". The event was attended by mentees and alumni of the programs, mentors, as well as a number of interested media and citizens of Niš.

Mentees and mentors, as well as alumni and other guests, gathered in front of Erste bank at Sinđelić square, after which they started to the symbolic walk along downtown streets. During the Walk, they talk about their successes, and the challenges they face in their professional and private lives.

"International Women's Day is a good time to remind ourselves of all the women who have historically fought for their and our rights. It has been even harder to preserve them and fight for full implementation and respect of these rights. This, however, is not fight only women are fighting, but a joint struggle of men and women, for us and for the new generations to have a brighter, better, safer, and more equitable future. On this day we recall Marija Nikolić, who left us too soon, a mentor in the program and the one of the initiators of Mentoring Walks in Serbia, the first of which was in Niš. On this walk we look at the famous Niš representatives and those who have felt that way. One of them was Nadežda Petrović, whose death marks the centenary this year," said Svetlana Stefanović, Program Manager "Share Your Knowledge - Become a Mentor ", at the opening of debate on the topic "Women's Rights in the XXI Century", which was held in Niš City Hall after the Walk.

Jelena Zarić Kovačević, President of the Commission for Gender Equality of the City of Niš as host, welcomed the participants and announced that the local struggle for the achievement of gender equality will be intensified.

Zorana Antonijević of the OSCE Mission to Serbia stressed that in light of the Presidency of Serbia OSCE put emphasis on improving the overall position of women in the world.

Adriana Zaharijević from the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory through the picturesque history on March 8th, showed the development of the struggle for the realization of women's rights. She is participating in the debate explained the meaning of the slogan "Bread and Roses", from the poem title by James Oppenheim, and the course of development of the women's movement and the struggle for women's rights. Adriana noted to the participants the tendency of transformation of the Women's Day in the propaganda of the consumer society. "There is a permutation on March 8th, from a strong political message into something completely else. Basically it was a struggle for the realization of the right to live in peace and dignity and to work, and now has turned into this consumerist slogan."

The position of Roma women was referred to by Ana Saćipović from the Association Osvit, based on many years of experience and work in the community. "Roma are multiple marginalized because they are women, Roma women, uneducated, poor and economically dependent." She pointed out that in 2006 Niš opened helpline for Roma women victims of domestic violence, aka SOS service, which in 2007 she and her associates turned into a city helpline on Roma and Serbian language for all women victims of domestic violence in Niš and vicinity. Ana Saćipović noted some suggestions for improving the situation of Roma women and the results so far achieved in this field.

The project “Share Your Knowledge - Become a Mentor 2014/2015”, the European Movement in Serbia for the fifth year respectively conducted in cooperation and with the support of the Embassy of the United States to Serbia, Erste Bank and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The program aims to bring together professional leaders from different professions to share their knowledge and experience with young women in their early careers of similar interests and a desire to be successful in their fields. This will contribute to creating an opportunity for these women to improve their career path with the intention to achieve a positive step and set a sound basis for future long-term cooperation.

Read more about the project



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