Finalization of the Manual and communication protocols for the needs for equal opportunities in the municipalities

After several organized workshops with the Working Group on Gender Equality of ZELS and with the expert support of Marija Risteska, ZELS finalizes the Manual and communication protocols of coordinators for equal opportunities between women and men in the local self-government units within the project Towards Gender-Responsive Municipalities: Strengthening Municipal Capacities for Gender Equality Policies and Gender Responsive Budgeting” (2019-2021).

At the last online workshop organized on September 11th, 2020 through the ZOOM platform, the changes made by the gender-responsive budgeting expert, Marija Risteska, which referred to the protocols for external communication, communication with the media, as well as communication with non-governmental organizations, the business community and other institutions, were presented. After the last consultations with the Working Group, the need for preparation of a Protocol for the handover of the EOC (Equal Opportunities Coordinator) function was also determined.

In order to implement the protocols more efficiently, the Handbook containing the protocols is also prepared, the need for its preparation and purpose, and the communication and its importance in planning and organizing activities in the municipality in the field of equal opportunities are also explained. It is also explained why it is important for the Equal Opportunities Coordinator to communicate and what are the preconditions for successful communication of gender equality in the municipality. In this way, the importance of the Equal Opportunities Coordinator will be emphasized, but also of the person responsible for communication with the public in terms of presenting municipal gender equality activities to the citizens.

Furthermore, the handbook contains the protocols for internal communication in the municipality, namely the Protocol for preparation of a program or strategy of the municipality for gender equality and the Protocol for the organization of the citizens' gathering (budget forum). In the area of external communication, a Protocol for communication with the media and a Protocol for communication with non-governmental organizations, the business community and other institutions have been developed.

A special emphasis is placed on the Protocol for the handover of the function of Equal Opportunities Coordinator as a challenge faced by some coordinators during the assumption of the function in the municipality. The aim is to raise the importance of this function and the archiving of materials that are a kind of institutional memory in the municipality in the field of gender equality.

The handbook should also be presented at the workshop with the ZELS Lobbying Group, scheduled for September 18th, 2020. However, an additional deadline of a few days was previously given for the members of the Working Group and the colleagues responsible for public relations to have opportunity to review it once again in order to give any remarks or proposals, before it is made official.

The communication protocols will be published on the platform, and will be printed and distributed to all units of local self-government.