Autonomous Women's Center and Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit within the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration organized the round table to present initiative for improving the system of mandatory maintenance (alimony) on 20th of November 2012, in Belgrade. The round table was organized within the project “Towards Social Cohesion – influencing social inclusion policy for multiply marginalized groups of women and victims of violence”, which was funded by the European Union.

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Autonomous Women's Center organized the international conference “The poverty risks for women who have experienced violence and for multiple marginalized groups of women” on 8th of November 2012, in Belgrade. At the conference were presented key features and initiatives for improving social inclusion policies for women who have experienced violence and other marginalized groups of women in Western Balkan countries and the European Union. There were presented poverty risks for these groups of women in the midst of the financial crisis, with a special focus on the impact of reduced funding and cutbacks in services and benefits on women's rights in Europe.

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Duration of the project: 24 months

The Project is funded by: the European Union as part of the regional program IPA 2009 – Civil Society Facility.

Project leader: Autonomous Women's Center

Partner organizations in this project are the United Women Banja Luka (BiH), Center for Women War Victims (Croatia) and the Association of SOS Help Line for Women and Children – Victims of violence (Slovenia).

Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit will support Autonomous Women's Center in the implementation of the project, as an associate.

The main goal of this project is to contribute to increased participation and influence of women in policy-making in the field of social inclusion and active participation in the process of the EU accession processes.

Expected results:

  1. Strengthened capacities of women rights CSOs in Western Balkan countries for policy analyses and research and for participation in the social inclusion and EU accession processes.
  2. Increased understanding of public administration in three Western Balkan countries on the importance of women’s CSOs participation in policy planning processes.
  3. Established regional dialogue among women rights CSOs and dialogue with the EU women rights CSOs as a sustainable tool for pooling expertise and for sharing best practices and lessons learnt.

To achieve these objectives and results following main groups of activities are planned:

Analysis of legal acts and policy documents in the selected areas, analysis of needs and problems faced by women from multiple discriminated groups, and women who are survivors of violnence in the realization of their rights. Comparative analysis of the situation and policies in the EU and the creation of proposals for improving policies and their implementation,

Increasing understanding of public administration (national and local level) in the three Western Balkan countries on the needs of women survivors of violence and policies that can contribute to the improvement of their position,

Capacity building of women's organizations in the field of policy analysis and research, and participation in processes of social inclusion and the EU accession.

Target group – women from multiple discriminated groups

Five areas that are specific for the target group covered by this project and selected based on years of experience in working with women victims of violence:

  • childcare (advantages in the enrollment of children in kindergarten and preschool, parenting support, temporary foster status, etc.),
  • employment (retraining and adult education),
  • social housing,
  • available justice (expanded free legal aid services - secondary legal aid), and
  • support / alimony.

The position of all partners and stakeholders in this project is that the area of social inclusion is an essential component of policies for EU accession. It is also expected that Serbia will in year 2012 develop the Joint Inclusion Memorandum (JIM). Inclusion of women's organizations in these processes is crucial and requires the strengthening of their role in the consultative process by developing their capacities and a comprehensive analysis of existing policies.