Women`s Political Network: Creating new political strength and culture of dialogue

Oct 18, 2018
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Women`s Political Network: Creating new political strength and culture of dialogue

The Women's Political Network (WPN) organised an event last night to present the results of the work so far and announced the upcoming campaign to improve the position of women in political, economic and family life. The event was attended by over 200 officials, including the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, the Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Ivan Brajovic, numerous ministers, MPs, politicians, activists, as well as representatives of the international community and the media. The event is organized within the Program "Support to Anti-Discrimination Policies and Gender Equality Policies" funded by the EU, and implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Government of Montenegro and the non-governmental sector.

PHOTOS: https://goo.gl/zZFyFZ 
DECLARATIONS: https://we.tl/t-8QQv2Vwx7Z 
COVERINGS: https://we.tl/t-ym2YheKaox 

At the opening of the event, Ambassador Aivo Orav, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, said: "Women's political network is a sophisticated and highly efficient group of passionate, enthusiastic and brave women who dare openly to express their political views, even if this is sometimes contrary to the opinion of party leaders. "Ambassador Orav urged all political actors to vote for proposed changes to electoral legislation. "This is what most party leaders have committed to do by showing their support to the demands of Women's Political Network during the meetings attended by representatives of UNDP and the EU Delegation. This will show your political wisdom and democratic capacity, which are essential features of the leaders of the 21st century" Orav concluded.

Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative sent a video message from New York: "The inter-party cooperation demonstrated by the Women's Political Network is proof that a change is possible when women are united around the same goal. I hope that it will bring with it a new culture of political dialogue in Montenegro. It seems that political differences do not divide you, but make you stronger in the pursuit of a higher goal, and that is more women in politics, with greater power to make changes. " McCluney also appealed to all the political actors she met to fulfill given promises and to continue providing support to their members of the Women's Political Network and their requirements.

The results of the Women's Political Network were jointly presented by Marija Maja Ćatović and Snežana Jonica. They pointed out that the Women's Political Network of Montenegro published a new page of the political history of Montenegro in the last year. "At the time of the deepest political divisions, at the time of the complete oppositional boycott of Parliament, at a time when there was no issue about which it was possible to lead a political dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, the Women's Political Network was established, "said Jonica and Ćatović. They briefly recalled the key requirements of the ZPM:
• Amendments to the electoral law;
• 40% of women on election lists
• the order of the lists: the obligation to have at least one woman, or a candidate from a less represented gender, in every three candidates on the list;
• Retaining existing sanctions for non-eligible electoral lists, as well as the norms that a woman replaces a woman;
• Amendments to the Law on Financing Political Entities and Election Campaigns;
• The introduction of measures to add 0.06% of the allocated funds for the work of the women's organizations in political parties to 0.6% of the operational budget of Montenegro allocated for the work of political parties;
• To allocate money on the basis of the number of deputies or councillors, in a way that will ensure that parties with more women in the Parliament of Montenegro and local parliaments receive more money from the budget on this basis.

"In the last ten years, we have been leading two fierce political wars in the field and in the plenary, in election campaigns at the local and state level. Each of us was struggling to achieve the political goal of our party, but in the course of this struggle, we were choosing words. And so today we can fight together about the goal that connects us. And that's why we are showing today how we can move forward towards Europe, if we are dealing with what connects us, not what separates us, "concluded Maja Ćatović.

Snezana Jonica recalled the promises of political leaders: "We will quickly see how honest the promises we received! Which leaders will stand behind the given word and the undertaken obligations. And will we move from words to action. On October 30, the Parliament of Montenegro will decide on the working group for the reform of the selection of legislation. The Women's Political Network has requested the Assembly to obtain observer status in this working body in order to monitor the fulfilment of the commitments undertaken by political parties. We are waiting for an answer! "

Finally, Jonica and Ćatović emphasized that "without a single person, the Women's political network would not have survived or survived, which is Kača Đuričković". Kaca Đuričković, Program Manager for Gender Equality in the UNDP Office in Montenegro, stressed that one should not flirt with gender equality policies and that they are not just a trend. "What prevents this fashion from becoming an essential development process is a lack of knowledge. Recently, here in our country, as a result of insufficient knowledge, we created the norms that thousands of capable women got out of the labor market. While the entire world is struggling to actively engage the population, the small Montenegrin economy has made women passivated and made dependent on the budget based on reproductive function. Also, the accumulated traditionalism caused so much imbalance between new-born male and female children that it seriously threatens the developmental potential of the entire society ", explained Djurickovic. She also recalled that it takes at least six decades to achieve social change and urged political leaders to show their support at work. "Women of Montenegro can and must build the democracy and the future of this society," Đuričković concluded.

Actresses Dubravka Drakić and Ivana Mrvaljević led the audience through a documentary tour, directed by Marija Perović, through historically recorded efforts to achieve the rights of women. Apart from a variety of audio-visual content, the event was enhanced by the appropriate music interpretations of KIC Pop Hor.