Strengthening working women capacities and networking in the Western Balkans; empowerment of women. Workshop in Podgorica/Montenegro,13-15 June 2012

The third workshop within the ISCOS/CISL and ITUC/PERC European Project on “ Strengthening working women capacities and networking in the Western Balkans” took place in Podgorica/Montenegro from 13 to 15 June and gathered women trade unionists from different sectors: health ; commerce; tourism and catering; industry; administration and justice; textile, leader and chemistry; public utilities and housing services.

The main project objectives follow the decisions taken by the PERC Women’s Committee as concerns their program and action plan: strengthening the national level trade union women’s committees and networks and their capacity to produce equality plans on national level; to influence state institutions, governments policies and trade union policies; developing expertise and professional analytic skills to identify strategies and develop initiatives; developing and improving strategies and methods regarding empowerment of women’s negotiating skills for collective bargaining and social dialogue; producing materials to raise awareness among wider audience about the need for a more balanced representation of decision making positions; networking and campaigning on identified priority issues for the region ( promoting equal treatment; fighting discrimination) and increase understanding on EU affairs and the accession process.

The workshop was chaired by the Coordinator of CTUM Women’s Network, Slavica Jaukovic, who presented the main priorities of the women’s section, legislative development in Montenegro as concerns gender issues and difficulties the women are facing in organizing themselves in unions.

The workshop consisted of presentations on the three main themes to be developed by the project: EU integration process and gender aspects; strategic planning and campaigning made by the Project Manager Lorenza Lo Sasso/ISCOS, Enisa Salimovic/ITUC-PERC Sarajevo office, project coordinator and ITUC/PERC. The presentations were followed by debates and workshops which brought concrete ideas and action to be developed as concerns more involvement of women in trade union work, fighting against the existing barriers, elaboration of strategic planning and policy documents , campaigning and networking to implement the priorities in the action plan. Special attention has been given to collaboration with other existing networks in the region and the NGOs dealing with gender issues. Rosa Popovic and Marina Vukovic, from the NGOs associated partners in the project NVO Women’s Today and CRNVO , expressed their interest to have concrete collaboration especially as concerns the issue of mobbing and harassment at the working place and common campaigns on raising awareness on equal rights.

The participants stressed the necessity of more activeness and coordination for attracting more women in trade unions and young people. The workshop ended with a press conference with local media on the content of the project and the main problems women are facing in unions .

The next activity of the project will take place in BIH on 27-29 June.!/groups/160321860674209/

(The Article about the Seminar in Podgorica is on Face book – PERC Gender Equality page)