Month: December 2012

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Gender Equality in Montenegro is guaranteed by the Constitution of Montenegro, the Law on Gender Equality and many other legal norms and ratified international documents. However, progress in this area is only formal, substantive changes do not happen, and the state budget still lacks funding for the implementation of activities provided by the National plan of Action for Achieving Gender Equality and strategies for combating domestic violence and violence against women.

This problem is also identified and indicated year after year by the European Commission in the statement of the progress of Montenegro in the process of joining the European Union: “Small progress considering women's rights and gender equality and the lack of human and financial resources for their implementation.” EU also expresses concern over violence against women in Montenegro and the under-representation of women in the labor market.

Therefore, we urge the Government of Montenegro to finally understand the contribution of gender equality to economic growth and sustainable development of the country and to seriously consider the demands of NGOs in the field of gender equality and women rights. The key requirements are as follows:

  • To consistently apply the law on gender equality, national and local plans for achieving gender equality and other government policies relating to women's rights, including binding international documents such as the United Nations Convention for the Prohibition of Discrimination against Women, with the obligation to provide the necessary human and financial resources for their implementation.
  • To ensure the effective protection of women from violence and their access to justice through financing women's support services, free legal aid and the effective implementation of Article 220 of the Criminal Code and the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, with the immediate adoption of the missing secondary legislation needed for their implementation. It is also highly necessary to train the representatives of the state institutions on standard procedures for approaching victims in gender-sensitive manner as well as on conducting procedures in accordance with the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence and the Code of Conduct for the Institutions Dealing with Domestic Violence.
  • To tighten the penal policy in human trafficking cases and strengthen efforts in establishing the national mechanism for providing compensation to victims of human trafficking and to reinforce programs for their reintegration into society.
  • To amend the Law on the Election of Councilors and Members of the Parliament, ensuring that in each group of three candidates on electoral lists of political parties there is at least one woman; to provide that women cover 30 % decision-making positions especially in areas where the majority of employees are women; To enable women's political participation, including Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women.
  • To ensure equal participation of Women in the labor market and the efficient and rapid application of sanctions in cases of violation of women's labor rights.

Please note that these recommendations include the findings of the United Nations Committee for Prohibition of Discrimination Against Women, adopted after the presentation of the initial report of the Government of Montenegro to the Committee in October 2011 , that the Government is obliged to fulfill by the end of 2013.