ZELS to Continue Supporting Local Governments in Gender Equality Policy-Making and Gender Responsive Budgeting

Strengthening the capacities of municipal coordinators and representatives of municipal councils for gender equality and budgeting, as well as supporting local authorities to implement the legal provisions for gender-responsive policymaking and gender-sensitive budgets, were among the important activities implemented by ZELS the past few years. We are finalizing the preparation of the ZELS Gender Policy and Budgeting Strategy for the period 2018-2030 which will be an important direction for the municipalities to move to the next period in this area, and we have 20 municipalities that are signatories of the European Charter. on gender equality, established by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. ZELS will continue to support municipalities in their development and development of local gender equality policies ”. This was stated by Dusica Perisic, Director of ZELS at the closing conference of the Project “Strengthening Gender Responsive Policies and Budgeting at the Local Level” held in Skopje on June 13, 2018, before the Municipal Coordinators of the Gender Equality Committees present. , representatives from the local government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. ZELS implemented all activities within the Project with the support of UN Women, the Skopje office. The Executive Director of ZELS pointed out that it is very important that gender equality policies are transposed into a National Strategy and that legal provisions are laid down for their practical application, which is why they are now significantly improved. One of the indicators is the increase in the number of women in politics, MPs in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia and in the municipal councils, with the number of women councilors in the local government increasing. - "Unfortunately, it is likely that the legal provisions do not specify the percentage of women candidates for mayors in the parties, so their number does not increase dramatically, and we have only six mayors in the 2017-2011 mandate," Perisic said. Emira Lubani, UN Women Regional Project Manager, also addressed that the Republic of Macedonia is a leading country in the region in developing and implementing gender policies and creating sensitive gender budgets at central and local level. ZELS has a significant role in the whole process of initiating gender policy building and strengthening municipal capacities. The role of ZELS in the future will be even greater, especially in the area of ​​establishing gender equitable and efficient services based on sensitively created municipal budgets. Jovana Trenchevska, State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, spoke about the cooperation with ZELS and the activities of the central government so far. She pointed out that our country has an excellent legal basis for gender equality, as well as built mechanisms for its implementation, which are close to the European ones. Since 2017, all ministries and agencies, as well as local authorities, have been obliged to include gender policies and activities in their budgets for which an appropriate budget circular and methodology has been developed. Such policies are expected to be incorporated in the Budget of the Republic of Macedonia soon, given the intensified awareness-raising activities, as well as the readiness of the administration and the MPs in this area. - “For the first time the budget analysis of the ministries has been publicly announced, and an important segment is the setting up of e-learning modules, which are mandatory for the entire administration and which we expect to be soon posted on the ZELS e-platform for gender responsible budgeting - www. rob.zels.org.mk. Irena Nikolov, ZELS Advisor, spoke about the role of ZELS in this whole process of realization of the Project and the activities so far implemented. She expressed her gratitude to all the active representatives of the municipalities and the municipal coordinators of the gender equality committees for their tremendous energy that they have invested in their municipalities to create and implement gender policies. It was precisely the creation of the ZELS Gender Budgeting Strategy that stemmed from their initiatives and suggestions on where local authorities should move and where they needed the support of ZELS in further developing RE and ROB. A multimedia video for the "e-platform" www.rob.zels.org.mk was also presented and developed by ZELS, which contains important information, good practices, legislation in the field of RE and ROB from the country and from abroad. Special emphasis was put on the further steps of ZELS in this area, which are aimed at strengthening the inter-municipal cooperation for RE and ROB, promotional activities for raising the awareness of the administration and citizens in the municipalities, upgrading the ZELS e-platform and enhanced cooperation with the central government The good ones were presented to the audience