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news 30 Jan 13

Serb Women MPs Form Club of Their Own

Women members of the Serbian parliament plan to form a cross-party women's caucus in the parliament to push for sex equality in general.

Danas, B92, BIRN
Belgrade

Women parliamentarians in Serbia are forming a team tasked with setting up a cross-party women's caucus in parliament to promote the cause of gender equality.

Dubravka Filipovski, of the New Serbia party, said the caucus would focus on women's poverty, the empowerment of women in the business world and health care for women.

"We must work to address women's issues," Filipovski said, noting that women currently hold only 82 of the 250 seats in the Serbian parliament.

According to the 2011 census, women make up 51.4 per cent of the population of Serbia. Some 61 per cent of women in Serbia are jobless, which is disproportionate to the average unemployment rate of 27 per cent.

The formation of the female caucus in parliament is part of a project entitled "Women for democracy and equality", organised by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellency and funded by the EU delegation in Serbia and the Finnish embassy.

Sonja Liht, of the Fund for Political Excellency, said that the aim was to accelerate the empowerment of the women in parliament, so that gender equality is placed at the forefront of the parliamentary agenda.

Meho Omerovic, head of parliament's Committee for Human and Minority Rights, said he welcomed the move.

"It is necessary for women to actively participate in decision-making processes at all levels," he said.

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