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Working Meeting with representatives of political parties

Regarding the project “Empowering women and girls for the preservation of peace and confidence-building” organized by the Macedonian Women’s Lobby, and funded by the British Embassy, a meeting was organized with the representatives of political parties in order to exchange information on the events in the framewrok of the project and future challenges . The working meeting was held in the hotel Meriot- Skopje on 14.09.2016.1613103

Seminar Stop violence against women in politics

Within the project “Empowering Women and Girls for Increased Peacekeeping and Trust-building   ” Macedonian Women’s Lobby with the financial support of the British Embassy in Macedonia organized one-day seminar on the topic “Stop violence against women in politics” on which  was debated nonviolent communication towards women in politics. The seminar was held on 27 May at the Hotel Holiday Inn. The focus was put on the   importance of the topic  of sexism, hate speech towards women politicians, at the second panel was  presented Guidelines for Resolution 1325 on women, peace , and security printed in three languages. We gave  overview of the 5 principles for the promotion of inter-party dialogue of women’s sections within the political parties agreed at the seminar held in 2015 in Struga. The last panel titled How to deal with hate speech, sexism and  discrimination  in the media, representatives of political parties shared personal experiences related to sexism in politics and the media.  The seminar was attended by 70 representatives of 15 political parties in the country.IMGP0807102016-05-27-883hin34hin18

Adoption of 40 % quota in Electoral Code

Quota of 40% in the Electoral Code passed on the session num.75 of the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia on 09.11.2015
Article 21
In Article 64 paragraph (5) is amended as follows:
“(5) The submitted list of candidates for members of Parliament from the of paragraph (2) of this Article for members of the municipal council and the City of Skopje referred to in paragraph (3) of this article, at least 40% of the candidates belong to the underrepresented sex namely: on every third place at least one will be reserved for the less represented gender and additionally will be add one position for underrepresented sex on each ten places.
That’s means that we kept the position from the previous Electoral code and get two more obligatory women from every list as a candidate.

Meeting with Mr. Peter Van Hоute, mediator in negotiation process between political parties

Director of the Macedonian Women’s Lobby Ms Daniela Dimitrievska together with civil society representatives met with Mr. Peter Van Houte, EU representative mediator in negotiation process between political parties. The working group of representatives of 4 political parties gathered to discuss the current Electoral Code. Ms. Dimitrievska  presented the views and arguments and forward documentation for increasing the quota of 40% in the Electoral Code and increased participation of women at all levels.Between the representatives of political parties negotiators are women MP who supports the initiative of increasing the quota. Mr. Van Houte publicly give support to this initiative and will deliver the documentation in the working group.

даниела клуб на пратеници

An initiative for increasing the number of women on candidate list

Macedonian Women Lobby sent letters to the presidents of the political parties involved in the working groups on the Electoral Code and to the presidents of women’s sections in the 4 political parties in order to provide support to the initiative to increase the quota from 30% to 40% representation of women on all levels.


The Macedonian Women’s Lobby is historically strongly associated with lobbying for greater women’s participation in decision making structures on all levels.

At the end of the 90s the issue of introducing quotas was raised among the public in the Republic of Macedonia as a response to the small presence of women in decision making processes.

The issue for equal representation of both genders was further raised by CEDAW recommendations and the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as other documents and recommendations signed and ratified by the Republic of Macedonia.

In 2002 for the first time, a 30% gender quota was introduced in candidate lists for the election of MPs.

This intervention encouraged increased participation of women in electoral lists, but the number of elected members of Parliament was far below the set quota of 30%.

Taking into consideration the experience of the 2002 parliamentary elections, where the quota did not yield the expected results, a new legal solution for the participation of women in councilor electoral lists was adopted in 2004. This solution provided a fairer representation of women candidates both on the upper and the lower half of the electoral list for councilors, resulting in the election of 22.4% women councilors in the local elections of March 2005.

In 2006 the electoral legislation, more specifically the part regulating women’s participation in candidate lists, was improved with the adoption of the Electoral Code. A new provision was introduced according to which for every three places on MP electoral lists and councilor electoral lists in the municipalities and the City of Skopje at least one place shall be reserved for the less represented gender.

The Electoral Code does not envisage electoral quotas for women mayors. Since this issue is not legally regulated and taking into consideration the existing stereotypes of women in politics, there were no women mayors elected at the 2009 local elections and, in light of intense pressures, only four of them were elected at the 2013 local elections as opposed to 77 men mayors in a total of 81 municipality.

In the past, there have been examples of women elected as MPs and councilors withdrawing from these positions in the interest of male candidates found on lower positions of the electoral list. To prevent this situation, a protective mechanism was introduced with the 2014 Electoral Code, according to which, an elected woman who has withdrawn from the electoral list shall be followed by the next woman candidate.

This historical context that calls on us to repeat and reaffirm the values ​​we hold.

Women in Macedonia are aware that without the quota mechanism they would not have a 30% share in the councils and in Parliament. They are also aware that plenty of laws, measures and issues relating to gender equality would not had been put on the agenda of the decision making bodies if these had not included women.

Therefore, we call upon all participants in the development of the new Electoral Code to take into account Strategic aim 2 – Improvement of the level of gender equality in priority thematic areas of the National Plan for Gender Equality (2013-2016) and the envisaged indicator Increased quota of 40% of the less represented gender on candidate lists.

We would also like to call upon respective parties to remain in compliance with the established quota referring to the number of women in electoral bodies, such as the State Electoral Commission and other electoral bodies, as well as all executive bodies and appointed positions at national and local level.

Equitable Gender Representation in Decision-Making Wednesday 30/09/2015, hotel Arka

12049103_803641143080073_4593435113947702443_nOne of the principles agreed upon on the three days seminar held in July 10 to 12 2015 Struga with representatives of political parties and parliamentary women’s sections where the parties were discussing  about bridging the political crisis was: Fostering the acquisition of quotas and their promotion and inter party and institutionally for which purpose we organized the  round table “Equal gender representation in decision-making.”

Opening remarks by  Daniela Dimitrievska, Executive Director of the Macedonian Women’s Lobby
Louisa Vinton, UN Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Skopje emphasized that
It is encouraging to see that there is a consensus among the parties, despite the current polarization that exists at the moment. The existence of a consensus between the political parties in this situation is important for achieving shared priorities of political parties. 50-50 should be our goal, but 40% is a great number and have the support of our bodies and institutions.

10:30 Session 1: Where We Have Been: Legal Mechanisms for More Equitable Gender Representation

Silvana Boneva, MP in Parliament
” To hear the voice of women and to seek a just society belonging to all alike: both men and women. Women in politics need to reach out, if we are to succeed in our intentions. “
Cvetanka Ivanova, former MP of the Assembly of RM:  I think this order is not placed today, not only in domestic law but also in international. This issue has already been put into agenda and women must exert more pressure in their parties.Ljiljana Popovska, MP in Parliament: Reasons for more women in politics:
1. Justice
2. More ideas
3. Meeting the full potential in society. “
10:50 Session 2:Where Are We Now: The Impact on Legal Mechanisms in Advancing Gender Equality Elena Grozdanova, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, State Counsellor for equal opportunities between women and men, said that the established mechanisms for gender equality are functioning. Each of them differently, but they function. Equal Opportunities Department joins at least in the part where there is competence within the Ministry.

11:00 Session 3 ; 
Where We Are Going: Recommendations for Strengthening Gender Equitable Representation in Decision Making Processes
Representatives of all political parties gave their view on the current position and future efforts and commitments that need to be done in order to achieve equal representation of both genders in decision-making processes.
DUI official stressed that the quota of 30% helped us to come here, but carries with it the responsibility to justify this figure.
SDSM representative stressed that the last Congress in the Statute of SDSM has entered a quota of 40% representation of women.
And representatives of other parties expressed their commitment to work within the parties, in the women’s sections in order to achieve and advance equitable gender representation in decision-making processes.
As a joint document at the end it was prepared joint statement to appropriate equitable gender representation in decision-making processes.
At the end of the round table participants of the seminar answered the question “Why give support to gender equity?
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Seminar Women leaders for women platform

The Macedonian Women’s Lobby implements a project funded by UN Women that strengthens the capacity of women leaders in the Republic of Macedonia. As part of our to advocate for greater women’s participation in political processes, we convened women representatives from the political parties of DOM, DUI, LP, SDSM and VMRO­DPMNE1 this past weekend in Struga.

During the seminar, the party representatives discussed mitigating conflict; advocating for the inclusion of women in party program development; and, strategies to increase women’s participation in internal party decision­making such as candidate selection. Representatives from the European Union, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, United Nations and OSCE also shared their experiences and expectations for women in Macedonia during the three day event.

At the conclusion of the seminar, the party representatives assembled agreed to five “Principles of Commons Interest”, which include:

● Fostering inter­party dialogue between women’s organizations within the political parties

● Nurturing the existing gender quotas and improving quotas within the parties and institutions

● Advocating for Financial independence of the work of women’s organizations within the parties

● Promoting the relevance of women’s organizations within the political parties to party members and to citizens

● Strengthening solidarity among women’s organizations within the political parties in condemning hate speech directed at women

With these principles, the women organizations of the political parties called for constructive dialogue to ease the current political situation. They believe their commitment to constructive dialogue is a model to overcome the ongoing political impasse.
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EWL launches its first young feminist summer school in Brussels

The EWL has witnessed a new generation of young feminists rising up, innovating and rebooting the fight for equality! A lot of new organisations, initiatives, and campaigns have been flourishing throughout Europe. A 4th wave on feminism on its way! We see many opportunities to strengthen the connection between these activists across Europe and with EWL itself.


EWL Director of Observatory on Violence against Women Colette De Troy retires

[Brussels, 5 June 2015] Last Saturday, the European Women’s Lobby Secretariat and members gave a joyful and moving farewell to the wonderful Colette De Troy who is retiring after 17 years incredible contribution to the work of the European Women’s Lobby in her capacity as Director of the Observatory on Violence against Women.

Read here an interview with her and be inspired!


EWL General Assembly in Brussels , 30-31 May 2015

On 30-31 May 2015, the European Women’s Lobby held an action packed Annual General Assembly in Brussels. Over 100 participants representing our members from across Europe came together to imagine and strategise for a Feminist Europe. As we celebrated our 25 years of feminist activism in Europe, we approved a new Strategic Framework; elected new Board Members from Germany, Portugal and Serbia and approved emergency motions on the peace negotiations in Cyprus, the situation of women in the Ukrainian conflict and calling for the inclusion of the control of small arms as a part of the European Year to End Violence Against Women.