Women’s requests for increased political participation, greater economic independence and full protection from any kind of violence are never only women’s requests, but are requests and obligations of every modern society, said President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović at the opening of the Tenth Session of the Women’s Parliament.
The Session was dedicated to considering the position of women in the Western Balkans in the context of the adoption of the Resolution on women’s rights in the Western Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo) at the meeting of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament.
The President of the Parliament said that today’s day was “a symbol of a century-long fight of women for full equality, above all, a symbol of women’s voice which was not heard enough, and which was often stifled”.
“By celebrating this day, we are also celebrating the antifascist character of Montenegro, because it was precisely the women’s movement embodied in the Anti-fascist Front of women, and especially after the WW2, that was a part of the global wave of emancipation of women in Montenegro and in Yugoslavia”, pointed out Mr Brajović.
He said that he was glad that in the Resolution itself, in the part relating to Montenegro, “legislative activities and the contribution which this House continuously gives are recognised, so that women can be more represented in the decision-making positions”.
“Values of equality, freedom, solidarity, and equality must be interwoven in all policies we create, because that is the only way we can be certain to have a society that uses full potential of all its segments. Our joint efforts must ensure active participation of women in social and political events and planned reform processes”, emphasised Mr Brajović.
In essence, as he has said, everything comes back to the first precondition, which is equality and liberty in a community: “Women must be present in decision-making places, where policies are created that influence all segments of life”.
Mr Brajović emphasised that, whenever he had the opportunity to speak on this topic, he would point out that it was undisputable that Montenegro was a state showing courage and desire to make responsible decisions, having a clear direction of development, and continuously reforming itself.
“In this segment, we have done a large part of the work. Owing to the good quality of norms in our legal solutions, we have 23.5 % of women in the Parliament, which is our highest percentage so far”, said Mr Brajović.
Chairperson of the Gender Equality Committee Mr Nada Drobnjak pointed out that the Gender Equality Committee had initiated the holding of the Women’s Parliament on the International Women’s Day to show that women in Montenegro, just like women worldwide, had political opinions and their own view about everything.
“Research in this region shows that women are predominantly recognised as mothers, wives, daughters, and only then as women who are educated, competent to hold any position in a society and to make decisions”, said Ms Drobnjak.
It is important, as she points out, for women to show that they are sending a unified message on the position of women - that Montenegro should be a society in which gender equality is a fundamental value.
At the opening, the speakers included Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms Mr Siniša Bjeković, President of the Supreme Court Ms Vesna Medenica and Minister of Human and Minority Rights Mr Mehmed Zenka.