The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Nevena Petrusic has urged that women should account for a third of candidates on lists for early parliamentary elections.
“If Serbia wants an open, democratic society, a society in which interests of all groups are equally represented, it is very important that women are present at all levels of the government,” Petrusic told Tanjug.
Thanks to amendments to the law on the election of MPs, women account for 30 percent of MPs in the Serbian parliament, she said, adding that the percentage ensures that they have an impact on the legislative power.
At one point, women constituted 24 percent of ministers in the outgoing government, but the figure dropped after the government reshuffle, she noted.
Petrusic voiced confidence that the law will be adhered to, and that after the elections set for March 16, women will again account for 30 percent of MPs in the National Assembly, and near that number in the government and other state bodies.
“I hope that the make-up of the government will show that Serbia is committed to the idea of gender equality, and that authorities do understand that for the development of democracy and society, it is no good that women be benchwarmers,” she said.
Petrusic noted that there is a prevailing stereotype in Serbia, according to which women should not engage in politics, and underscored that this is why the women who have the required qualities and qualifications should be encouraged to pursue a career in politics.