As part of the joint regional program “Dialogue for the Future”, a thematic dialogue was held on Tuesday, April 20th 2021: through dialogue to gender equality and social cohesion at the invitation of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue.

In addition to Minister Gordana Comic, the attendees of the dialogue were officials from several other ministries, participants in educational seminars within the regional program “Dialogue for the Future”, Francine Pickup, Resident Representative in UNDP Serbia and Sonja Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence. The conversation was moderated by the program coordinator of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Svetlana Stefanović.

Participants of the “Dialogue for the Future” listed specific problems that women face in Serbia, but also potential solutions to these problems, which they came to through consultative meetings with experts. Minister Gordana Čomić and UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia Francine Pickup assessed that much more is needed to make the situation in the region better in the field of gender equality, because it is not only a matter of women but also human rights and development of the entire society.

Minister Čomić pointed out that no one in the Republic of Serbia wants a future that will be the “future of violence”. She stated that despite the current situation in society, it is necessary to look optimistically towards the future. “Martin Luther King didn’t start his speech with – I have a nightmare, but I have a dream.”

The president of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Sonja Licht, pointed out the serious challenges of the traditionalist attitude towards women who are exposed to various types of violence in the entire region. She pointed out that young women are the strength and bearers of the emancipation of a true fight for a different society. The fight for gender equality is a permanent fight that does not stop, concluded Ms. Licht.

The joint regional program “Dialogue for the Future: Improving Dialogue and Social Cohesion in / between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia”, is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO and funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (UN PBF).