NALAS brought together over 50 women mayors and women presidents of the municipal assemblies representing local governments from 12 countries of South East Europe (SEE) in Sombor, Serbia from 5-7 December 2019 with the aim to:
- empower and build coalition for enhanced gender mainstreaming in policy and gender responsive budgeting,
- facilitate networking opportunities, and strengthen co-operation and synergies among women mayors in SEE and women municipal council presidents,
- produce regional policy recommendations for gender responsive budgeting at local level in the region of SEE.
The Forum, first of its kind in South East Europe was hosted by the City of Sombor. Ms.Dusanka Golubovic, Mayor of Sombor, Vice President of NALAS, in her opening remarks stated that “People often ask me how does it feel to be a woman mayor, and I always ask myself if that question carries within some unique dimension and is of utmost importance OR are we all equal and defined by our personal traits and characteristics, enthusiasm, responsibilities, and conscious, rather than by our gender?”
Ms. Golubovic also stressed that: “If there weren’t women fighting for women rights, women who were more determined in the past, we wouldn’t be here today and that’s why I think that we don’t have the right to underestimate our role, to the contrary we need to solidify it, so more women can undertake such actions.”
Mr. Kelmend Zajazi, the NALAS Executive Director, Ms. Ermira Lubani, GRB Regional Advisor at UN Women, and Mr. Đorđe Staničić, Secretary General of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities in Serbia also delivered their welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony.
The program of the Forum was rich with panel discussions and presentations that touched on the Status of gender equality in local life in SEE, Gender responsive budgeting – knowledge and skills in SEE, the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men role in Local Life, and why Women solidarity matters. A visit of the City of Sombor was also organized by the hosts.
Ms. Marija Ristevska, who moderated the Forum, emphasized that “The role of NALAS is to promote and encourage women mayors to be agents of change in the process of addressing gender inequality.”
The two fruitful days of discussions and exchange resulted with fundamentals for developing conclusions and recommendations that appeal for an increased participation of women in politics, policy making and local life; creating an enabling environment for promotion of Gender Responsive Budgeting as a tool for reaching gender equal communities; and measuring impact of policies on women and men at local level.
This Forum is part of NALAS project “Promoting e-learning and regional knowledge base development on gender-responsive budgeting”, supported in the framework of UN Women project “Promoting Gender Responsive Polices and Budgets: Towards Transparent, Inclusive and Accountable Governance in the Republic of North Macedonia”, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency – Sida.
To acces the presentations presented at the Forum:
For more pictures from the event, please click HERE.
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