We are a team!

2020/02/10 10:15:37am
In 2015 and 2016 I was honored to work as a mentor to civil servants from the municipalities of Bitola and the City of Skopje. I have worked in two areas where I have a specialty: gender equality and public policy. As a policy maker for 15 years I knew what I was going to face. Competent people with a lot of experience and knowledge who need only a little awareness of gender equality, the encouragement that it is time consuming and need to develop solutions that will provide equal opportunities for all, give wind to the wings, push the gender agenda sensitively crafting local policies to surface the political agenda of both municipalities. Given the overall political situation in the country which although not relevant to local self-government has a huge impact and at the local level I was afraid that polarization would affect the results of mentoring. There will be a boycott of any initiative, there will be various pressures from non-participation in developing the design of gender equality policies to blocking their adoption by the councils. But these two years and this particular experience of working with the administration of the municipality of Bitola and the City of Skopje confirmed to me that I work with great professionals. They themselves came in different periods
of government of different parties, some of them in high political positions appointed as secretaries of state, current and former heads of cabinets, etc., and others directly elected by the citizens as their representatives on the lists of political parties - councilors in councils; workshops on introducing gender mainstreaming into local policies and budgets acted solely and dedicated to the goal - to promote gender equality. It worked in a team, with all the strength, without excluding anyone, but using the potential of each individual to achieve the greater goal. And the results are team! The Municipality of Bitola has adopted a Strategy for Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination. It is the first comprehensive document that defines the specific objectives that the municipality wants to achieve in this area, as well as the platform of action that counts measures and activities in seven sub-sectors to achieve the specific goals. The municipality of Bitola built the capacities of the municipal administration, but the Strategy was committed to a holistic approach to implementation. Collaboration and involvement of all relevant stakeholders: media, NGOs and political parties through awareness raising and partnership building on the implementation of the measures foreseen in the Strategy in the fields of culture, education, health, sport, social protection, human trafficking and gender based violence . For this purpose, gender mainstreaming was introduced in the instruments through which the measures presented in the strategy - the forms for allocation of funds from the budget of the municipality of Bitola and the reports on the implementation of the activities financed by the budget of the municipality, are implemented. For the fifth year in a row, the City of Skopje has a Strategy for Gender Equality and is in the final phase of this phase of capacity building and establishing partnerships for realization of the platform for action and promotion of gender equality in the city. That's why they used the mentoring program to expand the scope of gender mainstreaming. If gender equality issues were addressed mainly by the Department of Social Protection and Public Affairs and the Intersectoral Group on Gender Budgeting, the mentoring program would build capacities in the sectors of education, sport, local economic development, legal service, IT service and relations department. NGOs. A gender approach was introduced in the work programs of each of the sectors, indicator frameworks for monitoring the implementation of the programs were developed, and a gender approach was also introduced in the instruments that allocate funds for the implementation of the City's program activities. It was particularly gratifying to see that the interest in gender equality is so high in the City of Skopje that members of the Mayor's office were actively involved in the mentoring program. This great commitment has also resulted in new initiatives that can substantially change the way decisions are made by introducing a gendered approach to programming and budgeting not only in the City but also in the municipalities that make up the City of Skopje. An evaluation of the achievements of the Strategy for Gender Equality was also made, but the team's new vision, mission and specific goals of the new City Strategy for Gender Equality were set. The team from the City of Skopje managed to create a gender equality logo of the City out of the ordinary. Out of the four options offered below, the team selected the first (left) as the most appropriate vision statement - Towards a gender-equal city! Teamwork has proven to be very productive, fun and enjoyable for all parties involved in both municipalities. And the work of gender equality has proven to be a higher unifying goal for all who are different and divided by gender.


2020/02/10 10:13:24am
Women in senior strategic positions have a responsibility to change the system, and it is very important for these women when they gain important positions to help and support other women. Women in senior political office are important but this may not translate into equity and better representation of the needs of all women, but more women in politics can more easily provide greater focus on issues that are important to women. Women should be part of the reform agenda as politicians, experts, activists, generators of ideas and conscientious voters. My two years of experience as mayor of the municipality of Tetovo justify my thesis that increasing the presence of women in political, economic and social life also makes the system sensitive to gender needs. My cabinet is made up of 70% women, the secretary of the municipality of Tetovo is a woman, two of
the five sectors of the municipality are headed by female heads. 40% of elementary and secondary school principals are women and 60% of the total number of employees in the municipality in these two years is women. With the presence of women in senior management and administration, other women have easier access and are much more interested in being part of the policy making and decision making process. This does not in any way mean that my goal is to feminize the municipality of Tetovo, but to create an administration and citizens who will be sensitive to the needs of women and men and who will communicate with each other in a language not burdened with prejudice and stereotypes. The municipality of Tetovo is a signatory of the European Charter for Gender Equality, which is in the process of preparing an Action Plan for Equality between Women and Men. With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with UNWOMEN for the implementation of the regional project "Promoting Gender Responsive Policies in South East Europe, Phase II", the municipality of Tetovo is obliged to introduce a gender perspective in the local development program, to implement and monitor it through gender responsive implementation budgeting, strengthen the capacities of the municipal administration and the municipal council for the commitments deriving from the Law on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women, and establish the practice of gender mainstreaming O-disaggregated data and the integration of gender responsive budgeting in the budget policy of the municipality. The municipality of Tetova has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fund for Support of Women and Youth Entrepreneurship set up under the USAID Small Expansion Project to increase the production capacity of women-led businesses to create new jobs and improve the local economy. The municipality of Tetovo introduced the gender component in every cultural event, recognizing awards and awards, as well as providing financial support to NGO projects. That is why I think that national legislation and mechanisms for achieving gender equality in all social life will only materialize if we achieve greater inclusion of women in political, economic and cultural life. In this way we will contribute to opening up the real debate that women and men often have different needs and priorities and their needs and priorities are equally important, women and men face different obstacles, have different aspirations and contribute to the development of different ways that equally important and necessary for society.


2020/02/10 10:09:02am
As a result of the study visit to Iceland, many initiatives, conclusions and experiences have emerged. Here are some of them: Projects and project activities implemented by municipalities in R. Macedonia Macedonia, following the example of Reykjavik in Iceland, should be viewed through the prism of gender responsive budgeting (hereinafter: ROB!). In which way? Because it is a thorough analysis of which municipalities either have or do not have adequate staffing capacity, it is necessary to use all other resources locally and regionally. The solution to this situation is the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the municipalities and the nearest public or private universities, which in the framework of their ongoing research (as part of their study programs and student activities), can make the analyzes. The benefit will be multifaceted - both for municipalities
and for student upgrades and teacher innovation. The Municipality of Stip is of the opinion that the excellent cooperation with the University "Goce Delcev" in Stip, can result in further joint and effective activities in this regard. Iceland Gender Perspective Analyzed in Budget Breakdown! The answer to the questions is: Who will be the final beneficiary of the project? Does that project bring benefits to minority groups? Is this project in support of other target groups? ... etc ... The creation of the platform, that is, the blog or networking of people involved in ROB in the municipalities, was also drawn as a conclusion of this study visit which is one of the basic ways of transferring experiences. It is inevitable for each municipality to have an Equal Opportunity Commission, Equal Opportunity Coordinator and most importantly - to set up an appropriate Coordination Body that will include one person from each municipal department (culture, education, finance, urban planning, LED, utilities, etc.). .), so that the body coordinates and systematically reviews all municipal projects through the prism of ROB and makes analyzes (as they are done in Iceland). It is desirable to include representatives from: the civil society sector, local and national institutions, regional units, centers (with special emphasis on the Center for Social Work), the media and representatives of other target groups in society. That means - institutionalizing this whole process by including all segments of the municipal administration and the local community in the process of promoting ROB at the local level !!! In Iceland there is a Steering Committee on Gender Responsive Budgeting in which the President is appointed directly by the Minister, the membership numbering 11 persons, one of whom is a worker, the other an employer, a third - citizen or citizen association. Their task is to control the ROB and make an objective insight into the current situation !!! The analyzes and their results are mainly for internal use, but with the promotion of public relations in the area of ​​gender responsive budgeting, their placement will be wider, media-covered, more expansive and closer to all citizens. There are a number of public relations tools that projects can promote through ROB! When undertaking any activity to promote gender responsive budgeting in a municipality, in Iceland's experience, one should not only perceive projects and activities from a gender perspective or through the scope of equal opportunities, but rather from many a broader perspective - in terms of respect for human rights !!!