Women in Montenegro still fight for their rights

Representatives of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) provided their support to protest Marsh of Women as marking of 8 March – International Women’s Day, held in Podgorica, in the organisation of NGO Anima and Women’s Rights Centre, with the aim to indicate on low level of respect for the women’s rights, especially in the area of labour, as well as under-representation of women in political participation, all of which are the roots of inequality in all other areas of life.

Nowadays, more than half a century since women gained the right to vote, fight for the exercise of their basic rights is still heavily encumbered.

Women have been on top of the list of most discriminated groups in Montenegrin society for years now, and the statistic of violence is dominantly female, meaning that every third women in the state experienced some form of violence.

Political and social marginalisation of women is visible through humble participation of women in institutions, which make the most important decisions for Montenegrin society, such as the Parliament and the Government. Misogyny in media and previously unseen smear campaigns and conflicts with female opponents and civil society activists have become a Montenegrin commonplace, aimed to additionally discourage social activism of women.

Also, tough economic situation affects women the most, and in an attempt to ensure the basic existence for themselves and their families, many of them work in the area of grey economy, without the insurance and other contributions, which exposes them to additional risks in the access to rights, which leaves them deprived of an adequate reaction and protection from competent institutions.

Finally, latest CCE research on discrimination indicated that more than 70% of citizens agrees with the opinion that the most important role of woman in the society is to be a good mother and wife, which illustrates the heft of the ambient in which women in Montenegro, in XXI century, have to fight for their rights.

Through its educational programmes, CCE will continue to raise the level of awareness and understanding on the importance of women’s rights, and simultaneously contribute in their efficient implementation through the monitoring of public policies in this area.

On this day, 106 ago, on Second International Women’s Conference of Socialist International, held in Copenhagen in 1910, Clara Zetkin suggested to declare the 8 March as the International Women’s Day in order to commemorate the results of fight for the rights of women and stimulate their constant improvement.

Petar Đukanović, programme coordinator