Improvement the Economic and Social Position of Women in the Rural Areas of Šumadija and Kolubara Districts

At the final conference “Improvement the Economic and Social Position of Women in the Rural Areas of Šumadija and Kolubara Districts”, held at the National Assembly on November 23rd 2018, the participants were addressed by: Commissioner for protection of equality – Ms Brankica Janković, Head of the Governance Domain/Regional Governance Advisor of the Swiss Cooperation Office – Ms Sascha Müller, the Director of the REDASP – Mr Nenad Popović, and the representative of RRDS project, Ms Irina Slavković.

Within the framework of the Program Rural and Regional Development Support to Serbia, the Fund to Support Rural and Regional Initiatives, donated by the Swiss Government, and the implementer of the project – Regional Economic Development Agency of Sumadija and Pomoravlje (REDASP), has placed a special emphasis on this project, which aims is to develop a model of support to the economic and social empowerment of women, already engaged in the activities of rural tourism, the production of domestic food products, and the production of old craft products.

Within the project, a total of 52 business ideas of women from rural areas were financially supported with about 88.080,00 CHF.

Territorial distribution of financial support is: 33 grants for women from Sumadija (Kragujevac: 10 women, Knić: 4 women, Topola: 11 women, Batocina: 1 woman, Rača: 1 woman, Lapovo: 1 woman, Arandjelovac: 5 women) and 19 for women from Kolubara (Ljig: 16 women, Valjevo: 2 women, Mionica: 1 woman.)

“Women’s entrepreneurship in each community should be strengthened, especially in rural communities. Even if everything is digitized, agriculture will remain the only one, as we always have to eat, so I especially thank to Swiss Government for investing in our agriculture,” said Ms Brankica Janković.

Ms Sascha Müller stated that in Serbia gender inequality and inequality between urban and rural areas are present, and that women still have employment restrictions, but even more in rural areas, due to lack of job opportunities. She announced that the Swiss Government will continue to promote gender equality in Serbia and to help in empowerment of women in rural areas.

Mr. Nenad Popovic reminded that the position of women in Serbia is very specific for decades and has led to the passivation of women, but also stressed that this project has made a lot of improvement. Namely, women entrepreneurs have not only received grants in the amount of 2.100,00 CHF, but also was supported for production technology, packaging design and sale. The website www.selo.rs helps them not only to promote the accommodation capacities of rural tourism, but also in placement and distribution of products.

Representative of the Program Rural and Regional Development Support to Serbia, Ms Irina Slavkovic, pointed out that this project successfully fulfil all the goals, and that this is the basis for further development of women’s entrepreneurship in rural areas in the future.

During the conference, a Memorandum of Understanding and Commitment was signed between 9 local self-governments, 9 Tourist organizations of Šumadija and Kolubara, REDASP, Moba Association and provider of web site www.selo.rs.

Conference Agenda Download

Conference in media is available here.

Conference photos are available here.