Gender equality and women’s political participation through the perspectives of list holders for parliamentary elections

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), within the framework of the project “SPINoFACT 7 – Media Monitoring of 2023 Parliamentary Elections in Montenegro with a focus on Gender Perspective”, conducted interviews with the holders of electoral lists participating in the parliamentary elections during May and June 2023. The interviews aimed to address issues related to gender equality, women’s political participation, and media representation of women during the campaign. Out of a total of 15 lists, 11 responded positively to the CCE’s team request for discussion on these topics.

The goal of this activity was to determine the positions of the leaders of the lists regarding various aspects of gender equality, as well as to encourage the strengthening of gender equality and the promotion of women’s political engagement within their campaigns and parties/coalitions.

The participation of women on specific electoral lists, the environment for women’s political participation within parties/coalitions, the position of gender equality in the party and election programme, the level of recognition of obstacles faced by women who are or want to be part of public life and have certain positions, then provision of space for women within specific parties to express their views, engage in media appearances, and choose or be chosen for specific roles and similar, as well as reasons for the low representation of women in the political life of Montenegro, with reflection on the exposure of women to increasing hate speech and misogyny in the public sphere, were some of the questions answered by the leaders of 11 lists.

The CCE team contacted the leaders of all 15 electoral lists, of which 11 found the time and willingness to participate in the interview. They are Adrijan Vuksanović, leader of the list CCI – On the Right Side of the World; Ervin Ibrahimović, leader of the list It is clear! – Bosniak Party; Vladimir Leposavić, leader of the list “Justice for all!”; Vladimir Joković, leader of the list SPP – DEMOS – For you; then Dejan Vukšić, leader of the listi “Peoples coalition – United and full stop” (Dejan Vukšić – Christian Democratic Movement; Marko Milačić – Real Montenegro; Vladislav Dajković – Free Montenegro; Dragica Perović – Democratic Serbian Party; dr. Novica Stanić – Movement for Pljevlja); Genci Nimanbegu, leader of the list Albanian Alliance – Аleanca shqiptare; Srđan Perić, leader of the list A Turnaround for a safe Montenegro; Dragica Perović Ivanović, leader of the list Yes. We can do it for Civic Montenegro!; Danijel Živković, leader of the list Together! For the future that belongs to you (DPS, SD, DUA, LP); Milojko Spajić, leader of the list Europe Now; and Nikola Đurašković, leader of the list SDP – For our house.

The leaders of four out of the 15 electoral lists did not show interest to participate in the interview on this topic with the CCE team, as follows: Aleksa and Dritan – Brave counts!; For the future of Montenegro (New Serbian Democracy, Democratic People’s Party of Montenegro, Workers’ Party); Albanian forum – Nik Gjeloshaj “BESA for European Development” (Forumi shqiptar – Nik Gjeloshaj “BESA pёr Zhvillim Evropian”); and Movement for change – First Montenegro – Nebojša Medojević – Reforms to save the country.

The project “SPINoFACT 7 – Media Monitoring of 2023 Parliamentary Elections in Montenegro  with focus on Gender Perspective” is implemented by the CCE with the support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Milica ZINDOVIĆ, Programme associate