Friday, November 9, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 9,2007) – A two-day conference on gender equality was held in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Wednesday and Thursday. The conference entitled “Gender Action Plan and Sex Equality in the Light of European Integrations”, was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Bosnian Agency for Gender Equality.

The frame purpose of the conference was to emphasize the importance sex equality as a political goal and as one of the important issues in the context of European integrations processes.

Zeljko Knez, Advisor to the Bosnian President Zejko Komsic stated that Bosnia managed to implement the institutional mechanisms in the sector, especially after the Agency for Gender Equality was formed.

“One proof of the country’s interest in the issue is passing of the Law on Equality of Sexes”, Knez said.

Apart from institutional mechanisms in certain countries, the fact is that the issue of gender equality has become a part of political dialogue. UNDP observed that the inequality of sexes is seen at the labour market. Often times, men get up to 15 per cent higher salaries.

According to a research, the Bosnian industrial sector has the mismatch of 42 per cent.

At the Albanian labour market, participation of women in 22 per cent. Croatia has shown a significant progress in the sector, UNDP representative for Europe Christine McNab said.

It is difficult for a woman, economically dependent to be a part of the public life. That is why the gender equality dialogue should go further than the regulations.

”We will keep helping Bosnia in the projects that are gender-equality related in 2008”, Michael Docherty, Head of the EC’s Commission to the Bosnian department for Stabilization and Social development said.

”EU will soon mark the 50th anniversary of sex equality policy. The 1957 Agreement on equality of sexes has given greater rights for women and Articles 2 and 3 of the Agreement ask for complete elimination of sex inequality”, Docherty said.

”Our task is to move towards an efficient implementation of the regulations from the sector. According to the World Bank data, participation of men at the labour market is 57 per cent. Women have 43 per cent participation”, Docherty added.

”One cannot say that human trafficking, especially with women and girls has decreased. That is the phenomenon not caused solely by social vulnerability women who become heads of families after their husbands migrate to other countries. That is also related to their physical vulnerability”, UNDP representative Kori Udovicki said.

Safet Halilovic, the Bosnian Minister of Human Rights and Refugees,stated that the Bosnian state institutions are fully supportive of implementation of goals planned by the Gender Plan adopted in September of 2006.

”EU is opened for the countries which, among other, implement the gender equality principles. Implementation of the Gender Action Plan is one of preconditions and obligations of Bosnia in the process of European integrations”, Halilovic said.

The key recommendations of governmental institutional mechanisms in the gender equality sector and UNDP support was presented in the closing.

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