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Debate on the topic "Where is Gender Equality in Serbia today" was organized on Saturday in Valjevo within the program "Share your knowledge". Mentoring Walk was organized before the debate, with the occasion of International Women's Day, which is part of the Global Mentoring Walk coordinated by the organization Vital Voices. This year there was 130 walks held in 62 countries.

Svetlana Stefanović, project manager in EMinS, opened the debate, stressing the importance of celebreting of the International Women's Day as a symbol of the struggle of women for their rights throughout history. "Mentoring Walk raises awareness of how important is a woman's voice, and how important it is to work together on a professional and personal empowerment of young women and to strengthen their position in society, and that the program" Share Your Knowledge' contributes for seven years. But we must not forget the women who have fought to enjoy the rights that we have" said Svetlana.


Mila Grujičić, from the Council for Gender Equality of Valjevo, said that when it comes to women's participation in public policies is of great importance is to introduce mandatory quotas for women members of the Management Board, Executive Council, as well as companies that have a large financial capital at their disposal.


Brankica Janković, Commissioner for Protection of Equality, said that social policy is an essential segment of economic policy, which, as such, should be promoted. She also stressed that "the struggle for women's rights does not diminish the human rights of women and therefore women need support to achieve the same opportunities and rights. Gender equality is a matter of the whole society and is reflected in the development of the whole society and the quality of life of each of us. For these values we have to fight every day, different mechanisms and clear personal attitude".  Zorana Antonijević, Advisor for Gender Equality in the OSCE Mission in Serbia added that the emancipation of women is possible through the educational system, noting that there is more and more young educated women, even more than the percentage of young educated men.

As the greatest obstacle to the advancement of women Zorana sees their discrimination on the labor market, against which it is necessary to begin active fight through the implementation of anti-discrimination policies, work to fix the distance between minority groups and employers. Brankica Janković, said that she as a Commissioner for Equality has taken all necessary measures to prevent further discrimination against women in the field of labor and employment. One of the measures is informing the public through the media, after receiving applications from women. It is therefore urged that women reported any form of discrimination. As active players in this struggle, are civil society organizations, and she evaluated that the trade unions are not interested in this kind of fight.  


Speakers agreed that the change can be achieved through education or through various campaigns. As a solution was emphasized networking of CSOs with the government sector. It is also necessary to solve problems gradually but consistently and in the correct order. Prejudices is a process, and consistent application of good practice is the key. The political system was highlighted as a key to change, and therefore must be part of it. When it comes to the city budget, they pointed out that it is necessary to analyze how the funds are distributed when it comes to men, and how when it comes to women.


"I feel satisfaction and pride in what we have failed to do and change relying on our predecessors. At the same time, I feel great discomfort and fear because of the challenges that await us, especially the future generations in a world full of violence towards the weak and to nature, discrimination, misogyny, sexism against women and economic exploitation" concluded Zorana Antonijević


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