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"ZELS will continue supporting local authorities for establishing gender equality policies and creating gender-responsive budgets"
14 јуни 2018
 
-"Capacity strengthening of the municipal coordinators and representatives of the municipal councils for gender equality and budgeting, as well as supporting local authorities in the implementation of the legal provisions for creating gender responsive policies and gender sensitive budgets, were among the most important activities implemented by ZELS, in the past few years. The Strategy for Gender Responsive Policies and Budgeting of ZELS for the period 2018-2030 is in its final phase of preparation and the same will be an important direction for municipalities to follow in the next period regarding this area. The European Charter for Gender Equality, established by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, is signed by 20 municipalities from our country. In the upcoming period ZELS will continue to support municipalities in establishing and developing local gender equality policies".

This was emphasized by Dusica Perisic, the executive director of ZELS, at the closing conference of the Project "Strengthening capacities for gender responsive policies and budgeting at local level" held on June 13th, 2018 in Skopje, in front of the present municipal coordinators of the commissions for gender equality, the representatives from the local government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. ZELS implemented the overall activities envisaged in the project, with support of UN Women, the office in Skopje.

The ZELS Executive Director pointed out that it is very important that gender equality policies are included in the National Strategy, as well as their practical application is determined with legal provisions, therefore they are significantly improved. One of the indicators is the increased number of women in politics, namely Members of Parliament in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia and councilors in municipal councils. The number of women presidents of the municipal councils in the local government is constantly increasing. -"Unfortunately, because the representation percentage of women-candidates for mayors in the parties has not been determined with legal provisions their number does not grow drastically, therefore in the mandate of 2017 -2018 we have only six mayors" stated Perisic.

The regional project manager of UN Women, Emira Lubani addressed the audience. She highlighted that Republic of Macedonia is the leading country in the region in building and implementing gender policies, as well as creating sensitive gender budgets at central and local level. ZELS plays a significant role in the whole process of initiating the establishment of gender policies and strengthening of municipal capacities. The role of ZELS in the future will be even greater, especially in the area of ​​establishing gender equitable and efficient services, which will be based on sensitively created municipal budgets.

The State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Jovanka Trencevska spoke about the cooperation with ZELS and the activities of the central government in the field of gender equality. She pointed out that our country has an excellent legal basis for gender equality, as well as already built mechanisms for its implementation, which are similar to the European ones. Since 2017, all ministries and agencies, as well as local governments have been obliged to include gender policies and activities in their budgets, therefore has been developed an appropriate budget circular and methodology. Such policies are expected to be incorporated soon in the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia, taking in consideration the intensive activities for raising awareness, as well as the readiness of the administration and the members of parliament in this area. - "For the first time, the budget analyzes of the ministries have been publicly announced and therefore an important segment is the establishment of the "e-learning" modules, mandatory for the entire administration and we expect the same soon to be set up on the ZELS e-platform for responsible budgeting - www.rob.zels.org.mk.

Regarding the role of ZELS throughout the realization process of the project and the activities carried out so far spoke Irena Nikolov, Advisor - Training Coordinator in ZELS. She expressed her gratitude to all active representatives of the municipalities and the municipal coordinators of the gender equality commissions for their tremendous energy invested in their municipalities for the establishment and implementation of gender policies. The establishment of the ZELS Strategy for gender responsive budgeting resulted exactly from their initiatives and indications, which way should the local authorities move and should ZELS offer support for further development of the GE and the GRB. As followed it was presented a multimedia video for the "e-platform" www.rob.zels.org.mk, which is developed by ZELS in order to give important information, good practices, legal provisions related to the field of GE and GRB from the country and abroad. Special emphasis was put on the further steps of ZELS in this area, which are aimed at strengthening inter-municipal cooperation for GE and GRB, promotional activities for rising the administration’s and citizens’ awareness in the municipalities, as well as upgrading the e-platform of ZELS and enhancing the cooperation with the central government.

The participants had possibility to get introduced to the good experiences of the municipality of Kocani, presented by the coordinator of the Commission for gender equality of the municipality, Ljubinka Ajtovska. She pointed out that in accordance with the existing legislation, great importance for efficient and proper implementation of the GE and GRBs at local level should be given to the establishment of quality capacities of the municipal coordinators, strengthening the awareness of the municipal administration and councilors, as well as the citizens. She highlighted a number of good examples realized in the municipality, including here the initiation of involvement of women in the fire protection department. As followed she presented the establishment process of the municipal Strategy for GE and GRB which is expected to be finalized by September this year. Therefore she pointed out that it is necessary to be determined with law the employment of the Coordinator for GE and GRB in the municipality, as well as the determination of its position in the systematization frame of job positions.

At the end of the Conference, the Executive Director of ZELS Dusica Perisic and Ermira Lubani from UN Women awarded certificates to many municipal coordinators, whose contribution is significant not only within their municipality, but also for local government of our country and ZELS.



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