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The dilemmas regarding proper presentation of identified changes for equal opportunities in municipalities resolved
2 март 2020

On February 27th, 2020, at the ZELS Training Centre in Skopje, a workshop was held at the initiative of ZELS with the coordinators for equal opportunities between women and men in municipalities, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Jovana Trenchevska and a representative from the Sector for equal opportunities from this institution. The workso was also attended by a representative of supporters of these activities from the Body of UN Women in Skopje. The ZELS Representative encouraged the present coordinators on equal opportunities to present the challenges and dilemmas they face in fulfilling this obligation from the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men regarding the proper completion of Report, which as a form is provided by the MLSP and where they should timely report on progress of gender equality in municipalities. At the same time, it was emphasized that in this way, the obstacles faced by municipal coordinators in implementing gender equality activities in municipalities need to be overcome, especially when reporting on progress and changes in this area at the local level. It was also pointed out that there are municipalities that have prepared and submitted good reports, and after this meeting this number is expected to increase.

The representatives of the Sector on Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, i.e. the State Secretary Trenchevska spoke in detail about all elements contained in the Report form, especially the section on resolving dilemmas for basic, positive and encouraging measures, which are programmatic. The basic measures refer to the procedures, guidelines that contribute to the systematic inclusion of gender equality in the basic working documents of the municipality. After exchanging experiences and opinions with the coordinators, it was concluded that a very small number of coordinators in the municipalities adopt basic measures, while most of the measures are positive and encouraging. They agreed that it is important for them to know how to identify the measures, i.e. to adopt them in advance and to specify them in the reporting form that will be then classified by categories (basic, positive, encouraging). The problem of collecting data and documents which would be further used for analysis and recognition of activities that refer to gender equality in the municipality was also highlighted at the meeting, so it was emphasized that the coordinators should use all available mechanisms to raise awareness among their colleagues on this issue in order to further gain their support for the development of activities in this area and for the benefit of the citizens. The need for systematization of the workplace on equal opportunities as a special place in the act of systematization was also emphasized at this meeting. The State Secretary responded in this regard that this is planned with the amendments to the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, for which a working group has already been established. Concerning the changes, the coordinators will be consulted and involved in the public debates planned for this purpose.

At the meeting, there was an opportunity to present the good practices of the municipalities, where the biggest interest was caused by the mechanism of Sveti Nikole municipality for collection and processing of gender-disaggregated data in institutions available to all municipal employees, but also for institutions on the territory of the municipality. The coordinator on equal opportunities was obliged to submit the sample with all documents and information to ZELS for further distribution to all coordinators.

In the end, it was concluded that there is a need for raising awareness on the importance of gender equality and gender issues, as well as the role of the equal opportunities coordinator within the municipality itself, as well as among elected officials for coordinated and efficient planning and implementation of activities in this field. Further, there is a need for training in developing indicators for activities in this field, monitoring and reporting on changes in indicators. The third conclusion was referred to the importance of involving the coordinator in the activities when developing municipal strategic and action documents in order to timely and properly incorporate the gender dimension into them. The fourth conclusion was that the Commissions on Equal Opportunities in municipalities should show greater seriousness and efficiency in holding meetings, but also in their functioning, and the last conclusion was referred to the need for a gender-disaggregated database and their analysis for their further use in the preparation of activities and documents.


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