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Gender equality in the countries of the former Yugoslavia

Doc. 13092: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 13092 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1For over a decade, the States of the former Yugoslavia have been facing the dual challenge of progress towards a market economy and the consolidation of democracy. Today, those that are not already members of the European Union have aspirations to join in the not too distant future.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 1, at the end of the first sentence insert the following words: ", with the exception of Slovenia".

Explanatory note

Slovenia’s membership of the European Union and the European Monetary Union belies the rapporteur’s hypothesis that the country is facing the dual challenge mentioned in the report.

In the draft resolution, inverse the order of paragraphs 1 and 2.

Explanatory note

While paragraph 1 is specific in nature, paragraph 2 is more general and thus more appropriate for the introduction of the draft resolution.

2The Parliamentary Assembly believes that discrimination against women is a violation of human rights and hinders a country’s democratic and economic development. Moreover, in the current economic crisis, there is a risk of regression in women’s rights insofar as governments focus their efforts on other priorities.
3The Assembly welcomes the introduction of a gender policy in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, which has allowed the introduction of new legislation and of institutional machinery for the furtherance of gender equality, the provision of support to women’s rights organisations by enhancing their legitimacy and influence and the inclusion of the “gender” parameter in the work of national statistical institutes, thereby providing certain indicators regarding the state of society.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 3, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly particularly welcomes the policy and praxis of gender policy in Slovenia, where a parliamentary Commission for Women’s Policy was formed as early as 1990 and where, in 1992, the country committed itself to integrating the principle of gender mainstreaming and has been successfully implementing such policies ever since."

Explanatory note

Supporting the work of civil society organisations operating in the field of the rights of women is a permanent praxis in Slovenia. The country is also a State party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and regularly reports to the UN on progress made.

4Serious progress has been made with the introduction of legislative frameworks to align legislation with international and European standards, but gender equality is still far from being a reality. Indeed, governments tend to deal with economic and political situations without including the gender aspect, when the approach to it should be comprehensive and cross-cutting. The implementation of the laws passed remains problematic: the lack of effective oversight of the implementation of legislation and of proper financial and technical resources means that effective application of new laws, which often comply with European standards, remains slow and inconsistent.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the words "Serious progress has been made" with the following words: "Apart from Slovenia, where numerous statistical data show that the situation is even better than the average in European Union member States, the Assembly welcomes the serious progress made".

Explanatory note

The number of women employed full-time or who have obtained a certain degree of education is indeed above the EU average, largely due to a good network of public kindergartens.

5The Assembly is aware that traditional stereotypes regarding respective male and female roles remain present in society, and that school curricula still convey these stereotypes. One of the principal difficulties continues to be changing attitudes, which needs time but also technical and financial resources and firm political will.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 5, replace the first sentence with the following sentence: "The Assembly is aware that traditional stereotypes regarding male and female roles remain present in all societies."

Explanatory note

It can be agreed that stereotypes regarding male and female roles exist. However, they are not unique to the countries referred to in the draft resolution but rather are a general characteristic of all countries. It cannot be accepted that the school curriculum is responsible for conveying these stereotypes.

6Violence against women is a widespread scourge in the region. Here, as in other countries, such practices are still considered acceptable among certain sectors of the population and are only partially reported and recorded.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6, at the beginning of the first sentence, insert the following words: "Except in Slovenia, where statistics on violence against women show that this form of violence does not deviate from the average in European Union countries,"

Explanatory note

Numerous activities in Slovenia have reduced violence against women: the first Slovenian NGO for the prevention of violence against women was established in 1989; a national campaign against violence against women was launched in the early 1990s and Ministries are legally obliged to prepare two-year plans for the prevention of this violence.

7The Assembly welcomes the progress made in integrating women into the economy and politics, especially the introduction of quotas in political parties and on electoral lists, which has led, for instance in Serbia, to better representation of women in national parliaments.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7, at the beginning of the first sentence, insert the following words: "Besides Slovenia, where employment of women is traditionally high and above the European Union average,"

Explanatory note

The participation of women in the labour market in Slovenia is almost equal to the ratio of employment of men and they are mostly employed full time. This is due to a good and well-organised system of public kindergartens.

8It supports the considerable work done by numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to raise women’s awareness of their rights and to alert politicians to the issue. However, it underlines that active efforts by the public authorities are vital, particularly the involvement of the Ministry of Education in combating stereotypes and domestic violence, for example through school and university education.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 8, in the second sentence, after the words "efforts by by the public authorities" insert the following words: ", as in the case of Slovenia,"

Explanatory note

In 2001 the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs set up the Expert Council on Violence against Women, involving the police, the judiciary, institutions dealing with social affairs and education and several other institutions. The participation of institutions and NGOs is regulated by the Family Violence Prevention Act.

9The countries in the region should therefore step up their efforts to raise awareness among all economic and social players about the need to empower women so that they realise their full potential in political, economic and social participation in overall development at the national and also regional levels. Steps should be taken to speed up the implementation of existing legislation that is consistent with European standards.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 9, in the first sentence, after the words "The countries in the region", insert the following words: "that have not yet done so".

Explanatory note

Slovenia should be excluded from this recommendation as it introduced a quota system into electoral law(s) on all levels of decision-making and the salary gap in Slovenia is the lowest of all European Union member States.

10In the light of the above, the Assembly calls on the States in the region to take measures at the earliest opportunity to:

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, in the first sentence, after the words "the Assembly calls on the States in the region", insert the following words: "that have not yet done so".

Explanatory note

Slovenia introduced a quota system into electoral law(s) on all levels of decision-making and the salary gap in Slovenia is the lowest of all European Union members. The Convention has not been ratified due to problems in translating the term "domestic violence" into Slovenian – similar problems exist in other member States.

10.1intensify efforts towards women’s participation in political life, at the national and local levels, and their participation in public life;
10.2promote actions and campaigns to raise awareness of combating violence against women and domestic violence, ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210) and deal with the question of violence against women in a comprehensive and cross-cutting way;
10.3actively combat sexual harassment, especially in the workplace;
10.4deploy measures to combat discrimination against women and multiple forms of discrimination with a view to their becoming real economic and social players;
10.5make the population aware of women’s rights, in particular by organising information campaigns and by gender mainstreaming in school and university curricula;
10.6pursue and intensify efforts to promote gender equality by working to narrow the male-female wage gap and by encouraging women to attain positions at the highest levels and in all areas;
10.7allocate the necessary human and financial resources for implementing the national gender equality action plans and ensuring a regular assessment of their efficiency, in particular by providing financial support for NGOs operating in this field;
10.8give rural women access to the labour market, especially by fostering their access to a basic level of education, land ownership, training, modern farming methods, finance and facilities.