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The Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities presented

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Today, the results of the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia were presented.

Today, October 22, 2018, the results of the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia were presented. The promotion of the Index created by Reactor - Research in Action with the support of the USAID Civic Engagement Project, took place in Hotel Solun in Skopje. The Gender Equality Index is based on the belief that for social progress, women and men must have equal access to opportunities and services. The Index provides an overall overview of the situation in all municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia, analyzing their work in three main domains: gender gap, enabling conditions and gender-responsive municipality. As of today, this review of gender equality in the municipalities is available at www.rodovindeks.mk.

Ms. Mila Carovska, Minister of Labor and Social Policy addressed the audience and emphasized the importance of the tools such as the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities, in order to measure the effect of policies for promoting gender equality at the local level. 

"This index, which is created for the first time in Macedonia, provides the basis for us to assess if we are moving in the right direction with all policies," said Carovska. She also stressed that the Ministry is committed to improving child care services, such as kindergartens, and that the social protection reform envisions the development of social services, such as care for persons with disabilities and care for the elderly, a role that traditionally is done by the women in the family because of which they are not active on the labor market.

The Director of the General Development Office in USAID Macedonia, Mr. Edward Gonzalez noted: "We look forward to better understanding the differences between women and men in each municipality in the fields of economy, education and social conditions, as well as services offered by municipalities that promote gender equality, such as kindergartens, homes for the elderly, and facilities for people with disabilities. The participation of multiple, concerned stakeholders poises your efforts to find successful solutions to promoting gender equality."

Mr. Apostol Simovski, Director of the State Statistical Office, welcomed the creation of the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities, and announced that the State Statistical Office is in the preparations for the creation of the Gender Equality Index at national level, which would provide comparison between the situation in Macedonia with the countries in the European Union and other countries in the world.

The president of Reactor - Research in Action, Ms. Maria Bashevska, explained that the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities is an indicator of the conditions of men and women in the municipalities in all spheres, and measures the availability and access to services in the municipalities and the way the gender responsible programs at the local level are programmed and implemented. "The Index shows that in most of the municipalities, basic public services that are essential for women are lacking, and what is worrying is that the Index shows that even when the municipalities have gender-responsive programs they often do not allocate budget funds for the implementation of those programs and supporting activities that improve the lives of women in the municipalities "- said Bashevska.

The results of the Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities were presented by representatives of Reactor, who emphasized that with this overview of the current situation, the need for local-level investments that take into account the specific needs of women and men and the improvement of the life of women is highlighted, thus improving the gender equality and the life of all citizens in the country. The Reactor team believes that this tool will motivate municipalities to create policies that will focus on the needs of women, and thus achieve better results in the next review of the Index, which is planned for 2020. 

The event was attended by representatives from several municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia, relevant institutions, embassies and representatives of the civil sector. The Index of Gender Equality in the Municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia was developed by Reactor - Research in Action as part of the project "Mobilizing for Gender Equality", within the USAID Civic Engagement Project.

* Photo credit: Ministry of Labor and Social Policy