The new Serbian government is jeopardising the rights of women in Serbia.
The Serbian government are currently closing a number of state bodies in order to save money. The national Gender Equality Directorate is on the “black list” together with some hundred authorities and state bodies, of which 25 will be closed, in spite of public declarations by the government that gender equality is a priority. Kvinna till Kvinna has been critical towards the GED and their cooperation (or lack of) with the civil society and women’s organizations, but it is a crucial body for the advancement of women’s rights in Serbia. The decision of which bodies to cancel will be made on Thursday unless it is postponed again. We are following the development.
The government recently, basically yesterday, cancelled their presentation at the UN CEDAW Committee session in Geneva in October. Without the Governmental report, the Shadow CEDAW reports coming from CSOs cannot be presented either. There are at least three different shadow reports with different focuses that have been developed by civil society and different groups of organisations. In practice this means that all the delegations of women’s organisations are now cancelled, and one of the few opportunities to discuss the situation for women’s rights in Serbia between the government and the experts (women’s rights activists) is lost.
When jeopardising the rights of women, the Serbian government is jeopardising the democratic development of this country.
Stina Magnuson Buur in Belgrade