Women in South-East Europe face common challenges in the field of gender equality.
To a considerable extent, this can be explained in the light of the region’s recent history.
The transition from socialism to democracy affected the position of women in society, being accompanied by a return to traditional values. In addition, the war contributed to the marginalisation of women from decision-making to the advantage of men, who were considered more decisive leaders.
The economic difficulties due to the transition to a market economic and the war led to cuts in the area of social protection, including health and child care. This had an impact on women’s economic independence and limited their access to reproductive health and family planning.
Many women still suffer from the scars of the war, in particular the consequences of rapes and sexual violence which was used as a weapon against them and their communities.
Domestic violence – often unreported – and trafficking for sexual exploitation are serious problems.
Over the past years, countries from the region have taken a wide range of measures to improve the status of women. In order to support and encourage these efforts, the Parliamentary Assembly should study attentively the situation, in particular as regards:
The aim of the Assembly should be assessing progress, identifying shortcomings and making precise recommendations, to better assist these countries in achieving de iure and de facto gender equality.