Only declarative support to women in political parties, study shows

Bogdan Urošević

18. November 2015

Only declarative support to women in political parties, study shows

Women Leadership Academy presented on 17 November in Belgrade first findings from its research of gender equality in political parties, which was conducted from June to October 2015 through online survey involving 150 men and women, active in political life. The goal of this research was to establish the objective position of women in political life, as well as potential obstacles and possible roles for women political leadership.

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Research shows a positive trend in regard to women political participation. Almost all interviewees (97,5%) stated how they would support a woman taking the role of party president. Also:

Only 24,6% women had said that they would never run for public office, in comparison with 47% (2010), which proves that the “quota system” is producing results.

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However, many obstacles remain. Men active in political parties do not see this issue as the one they should get involved with, and they were not that quick to respond to questions. Men are more open to candidacy for parliament, while women are seeking posts in lower levels of government (as, for instance, local self-government). We can conclude with great level of certainty that support to women in political parties is mostly declarative.

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An analysis of inter-family relations has shown that women have at their disposal far less time to engage in political action. “I know that my husband is constantly facing questions in our immediate surroundings: what am I doing, when I am coming home, why do I need to be absent for so long. That makes me feel guilty and this is why I do not stay for too long at meetings or conferences“ – said one of politicians active on the local level of government.

This research is conducted within the scope of a two-year project that started in April 2015, and was conducted by the BFPE in partnership with Centre for Support to Women and Centre for Modern Skills, and supported by USAID.