Gender budgeting at the local level

On Tuesday 24 November in the Press Hall of the Serbian Government representatives NALED, Ethno network and 20 local governments signed the Declaration for the promotion of gender equality at the local level, whereby the cities and municipalities committed to allocate funds in next year\'s budget for special programs for economic empowerment of women and gender equality.

The event was opened by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Coordination body for gender equality, Zorana Mihajlovic, who pointed out that since 2016 the budgets of local governments, but also the republic budget, will become gender sensitive.

- The people behind me are leaders and pioneers in gender budgeting. I want to thank and congratulate them because they recognized the importance of supporting women to engage in social, economic and political life, which will be reflected in their budgets in the coming years. This is an opportunity to call upon all the other mayors to engage in this initiative that is good for the economy of Serbia. Economic empowerment of women get their place guaranteed by the Constitution and the state has a significant benefit as every women\'s involvement means higher economic growth - said Mihajlovic.

The head of the World Bank office in Serbia Tony Verheijen said that for international institutions, this initiative is not only important from a human rights perspective but from the perspective of economic development. He recalled that the participation of women in the labor market remains rather low because only 54% of working-age women participate in the labor force while men participate up to 70%. Because of gender inequality Serbia loses 16% of potential revenue.

- Solving problems in the labor market requires action at national and local level to ensure that funds are directed at achieving the goals of greater gender equality. I thank NALED which supported this initiative. NALED supported many important initiatives, but this is particularly importan