Call for action: Enabling women to reach their full potentials


Podgorica, 8 March 2015

Almost a century after women started advocating for their rights, International Women's Day is a chance to reflect on past achievements and to focus on achieving equality. Fighting discrimination, segregation and oppression, women have managed to make their mark on the world - with Montenegro being no exception to the rule. In spite of tangible progress on many fronts like education and employment, a lot remains to be done in areas of equal pay, women’s entrepreneurship, decision making and violence against women. 

“In Montenegro, women earn 18% less than men for the same job. At the same time, women, who make half of human capital of the country, participate with less than 10% in entrepreneurship. Notably, the political participation of women can be further strengthened and expanded”

Benjamin Perks, United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNICEF Representative in Montenegro

The EU accession process provides good framework for continuous growth of Montenegro as a society of equal opportunities both for men and women.
Recently adopted gender quota resulted in significant increase of women in local parliaments from 5% to 26% in the last decade. However, with only 18% of women members of the National Parliament, Montenegro holds only the 80th place at the Inter-Parliamentary Union list.
Thanks to the introduction of the Law on Protection from Violence in Family, awareness raising and active multi-institutional response, reporting violence in the family has increased for 270% in last three years. The trend obviously suggests victims’ expectation that the state will provide them with protection, but it also puts additional pressure on the authorities to provide prompt reaction.
The way we prevent violence against women and protect victims is a mark of the true nature of our society. In Montenegro, Europe and globally there are many women who are frightened, intimidated and humiliated in their own homes, at their workplace and elsewhere in the society. We need a strong protection system for women and the enabling environment which will empower them – from a little girl to a 90-year old, to enjoy their human rights and fully develop their potential,” Perks said.
For Montenegro, the year 2015 is of crucial importance for galvanizing efforts to put gender equality at the top of the national development agenda, while delivering on the international commitments such as Millennium Development Goal 3, UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action and Istanbul Convention. This year Montenegro will report on implementation of UN CEDAW Convention. 
On this International Women’s Day we call to empower the women of Montenegro, reminding that our society cannot realize 100 per cent of its potential if more than 50 per cent of people are held back.