Gender equality is a part of human rights. Human rights must be guaranteed and secured to every member of society. Without the existence of equal opportunities, conditions and restrictions for the respect and enjoyment of human rights, one democratically organized state can not be imagined. Gender equality presupposes that both men and women have equal opportunities for exercising human rights.
In our present, women and men are in many cases victims of various forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, social, political, labor law and many other inequalities are still very much represented.
It is necessary to emphasize that in the EU gender equality is considered a necessary condition for achieving the goals of growth, employment and overall progress of the community.
All gender inequalities can be successfully solved first through adoption, and then through active implementation and application of new approaches in all areas of life.
The goal of introducing gender equality into the mainstream is the transformation of inequitable social structures into structures that are equitable and fair both for women and men.
In the corporate world, it has been observed that companies that have high representation of women in leading positions have been actively working on it for decades.
It is very common that directors advocating gender equality are not thinking only in the interests of maximizing profits, but experiencing it personally. They were most likely themselves victims of discrimination or were witnesses of the same and its consequences. They had to work very hard to succeed and because of that, they had the desire to try at least, now that they are able to make it easier for others to succeed. If nothing else, then at least they can open the door, which has been locked up to date by discrimination.
In order for a single corporate policy to strive for gender equality to succeed, not only individual attempts by directors or individuals in managerial positions are sufficient, it is necessary to include the entire management with a special focus on the HR part in this venture. But since everything starts from the top, it is essential that the company’s leaders be active and have a strong faith and a desire to implement gender equality.
Successful companies are constantly working on gender equality with the necessary HR leadership in three very important areas: the development of talented women, the planning of successors and the measurement of results.
In Serbia, the importance of economic empowerment of women and the benefits derived from this is not denied by anyone, not only from the perspective of women’s rights, but also from the point of view of economic progress and productivity itself.
First of all, this is about the issue of justice and equality. Because if we really want to have a business world that will function, we have to fight for equal representation of the sex, not leaving half the population out of it.
Unfortunately, in Serbian reality, at least for the part of formal employment, equality between women and men has not yet been achieved.
Unemployment of women Serbia ranked among the countries with the highest unemployment rate in Europe, which led to the situation of the unemployed woman such that she has poor prospects for permanent employment, employment for jobs with low or irregular payments, low and irregular payments of unemployment benefits, and small chances for retraining, retraining or professional reorientation.
Unfortunately, according to data, female entrepreneurship in Serbia can still be characterized as micro, as in almost 99% of these enterprises employ fewer than ten workers, and this is mainly business related to the service sector and is oriented to the local market. The reason for this can be found in addition to gender discrimination in the fact that women later became involved in business, but also because they are more often determined to close their businesses than their male competitors because they often find themselves in a non-competitive position, which is why their business itself hardly sustainable as productive in the long run.
The Law on Gender Equality, which came into force in 2009, envisages a policy of equal opportunity and equal participation of all sexes in all areas and aspects of life.
Equal opportunities policy requires proactive access especially from state, provincial and local government bodies. It is necessary that the approach is aimed at achieving the set goals and assumptions that women and men have in reality and practice and enjoy the same rights and freedoms, without being deprived of any form of direct or indirect discrimination.
When it comes to gender equality, Serbia is ranked 42nd out of 136 countries that were included in the World Economic Forum report.
At this point it is necessary to point out an example of good practice of gender equality policy and anti-discrimination approach based on the genus of the University Children’s Clinic in Tiršova Street in Belgrade that took the necessary measures in accordance with the mentioned anti-discrimination policy based on gender.
In accordance with the anti-discrimination legislation of the Republic of Serbia, the University Children’s Clinic in August 2014 adopted a Decision on the financial compensation of the expenses of the patients’ patients in which it is determined that as a follower of thepatient the parent / adoptive parent / guardian or other close family member is considered as a regardless of gender.
It is important to point out that according to the data of the international organization Interplanetary Union for 2013, Serbia is at the 23rd place of the list of countries with the largest number of women in parliament (33.2%), which puts it in position in the majority of EU member states, country from the region.
It is important to point out that in 2016, the Republic of Serbia became the first non-EU country to introduce the gender equality index. This index measures progress in achieving gender equality in the following areas:
- work (participation in jobs, division of jobs and quality of work performed by women);
- money (economic situation of women and access to financial resources);
- knowledge (achievements on education, divisions in levels of education, constant learning);
- spending time (matching between work, caring for the household and family, social activities);
- power (participation in politics, social power and economic power);
- health (access to health services, health status).
Despite the existing legal obligations, by-laws and existing good practices of companies, it is still necessary to further improve corporate knowledge and practices in Serbia in the area of women’s rights and gender equality, in order to contribute to building a strong interaction between actors from different sectors , including the state sector and civil society, who will actively work with the joint forces in the promotion of gender work in their relations with the business community.
Promoting gender equality in the business community is reflected in programs targeting women’s employment, the most significant of which is the one that focuses on continuous education and learning throughout life.
We hope and believe that the positive example of Parliament and the University Children’s Clinic will follow many, because we can not expect inequality based on gender to disappear overnight, but that it is a long-term process that requires the participation of every individual without exception.
Professional article published by Bar Association of Serbia
- Professional article is from September 30, is located in the book “From the Pen of the Lawyer” published by Bar Association of Serbia;
- Scientific work on Gender Equality in Governance published by the Bar Association of Serbia on April 20, 2017.
Lawyer – passed Bar exam
Specialist for Law aspects of Corporate Governance
On Serbian this article is published on the blog where it can be translated by Google. https://bojanabogojevic.wordpress.com/category/rodna-ravnopravnost/