Local Action Plan for « Economic Empowerment of Women and improvement of Gender equality »
How can municipalities empower women by stimulating employment and economic independence? This is something the municipality of Pantelej in Serbia has been working on. Pantelej signed the European Charter for equality between women and men in local life in 2013 and has established a local equality action plan for « Economic Empowerment of women and improvement of gender equality » covering the period from 2012 to 2017.
Prior to the establishment of the Action Plan, a survey was conducted to gather information on the economic situation of women in the region and to identify the situation of gender equality.
The survey provided valuable information on the situation of women in different areas and also on the existing equality gaps. This material then helped to identify concrete actions for intervention to improve gender equality in the region.
A majority of the women in the survey said that the most important effort to reduce inequality would be to stimulate women employment. Women also showed interest in self-employment and requested more support in this field.
Based on the survey the following three strategic priorities were identified for the municipality:
- Increase of participation of women in decision-making process and achievement of gender equality
- Capacity building of entrepreneurship and economic capability of women for economic independence and self-employment
- Preservation and improvement of health of women.
To fulfil the objective on Women Entrepreneurship and Employment, the municipality has implemented several activities. They have organized several trainings to encourage women entrepreneurship, business-creation and to inform on the possibilities of establishing cooperatives of women in different areas such as:
– Making and selling of hand-crafts
– Establishing services for provision of social protection,
– Encouraging creation of cooperatives of farms in rural areas
– Programmes to support the development of female entrepreneurship in rural tourism
The municipality have also organized trainings to improve women’s skills, especially focusing on the use of IT and on women from multi-discriminated groups.
The municipality also carried out a public campaign to encourage men to participate in family obligations and household work in an equal manner.
Web site: www.pantelej.org.rs