Strengthening the link between the Equal Opportunities Coordinator and the Commission for Equal Opportunities for Promotion of Gender Equality in Municipalities

As part of the project “Strengthening the Capacities of Municipal Officers and Local Representatives for Gender Responsive Budgeting”, ZELS organized a training session for the 14th of the year. Monastery, Berovo. Members of the Committee on Equal Opportunities and the coordinators from the municipalities of the East, South-East and Vardar region got acquainted with the gender concepts, gender policies, tools and mechanisms for introducing gender budgeting in the municipalities. The trainers Neda Maleska-Sachmarovska and Mila Jarovska who were hired by UN Women - UN Gender Equality and Empowerment Women, who were supporters of this project, encouraged interaction and through the exercises introduced the participants to identify and develop gender programs and financial gender covered. Those who had less experience were also introduced to national and local policies that provide links to municipalities, such as a Gender Equality Action Plan and a Report on Implemented Activities. Through exercises the participants showed how the programs in the municipalities can be planned, how to set and differentiate gender indicators that should ultimately show how the programs were actually set up and how well the results of implemented activities are delivered. The trainers shared statistics on the situation of gender equality and gender equality in the society in the Republic of Macedonia and in comparison with other gender developed countries. At the same time, it was pointed out the possibilities for introducing measures and mechanisms that should contribute to moving these conditions in our country. It was emphasized that the link between the Coordinator and the EOC members is important for raising the awareness of those responsible in the municipalities for the introduction of gender measures and concepts and gender responsive budgeting. It is a process that needs to be continuous, with the central role of the municipal administration coordinators having to do with institutional memory. The members of the CEO also outlined the challenges they face while working on this municipal body, and exchanged experiences to overcome some of the situations that depend on the members themselves. Undoubtedly, it was concluded that proper and realistic budget planning according to the gender needs of the population in the municipality will also raise the level of efficient functioning of the municipality and thus promote transparency and accountability. However, it also requires cooperation at the municipal level with the relevant institutions in providing the necessary information and data necessary for developing municipal programs and realistic gender budgeting. In conclusion, it was added that citizen participation is crucial for proper gender budgeting in programs that should provide information on their gender needs. Finally, it was concluded that such trainings are more than necessary, especially at the beginning of the municipal mandate. advisors that there is a need to improve national and local gender equality policies and to introduce monitoring measures that should deliver the best results from the success of implemented gender concepts and policies.