… Iz Kruga – Vojvodina participated in the meeting Un Women: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds – Phase 2

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The Executive Director of the Organization …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA, Svjetlana Timotic, participated in the Programme Steering Committee Meeting of the UN WOMEN regional programme: Elimination of violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey: Application of norms, change of consciousness – 2 phases. The meeting was held on February 26, 2021, from 9 to 11:15 a.m. via the Zoom application.

The meeting brought together all program partners who presented the key milestones, challenges and results achieved during the previous year.

The meeting was opened by Genoa’s Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans on behalf of the Directorate General for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, followed by Alia El-Yassir, UN WOMEN Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and government representatives, civil society organizations and program partners across the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Svjetlana Timotic spoke on the topic of Challenges and progress in preventing and addressing violence against women in the context of COVID 19 pandemic, with a focus on project activities that the Organization … IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA is implementing.

Three key challenges in the context of the covid pandemic have guided our work to improve services to protect women with disabilities from violence: Prolonged confinement in homes and institutions and other restrictions on movement have reduced the ability of women with disabilities exposed to violence to live independently. Isolation has indirectly weakened them mentally and physically, intensifying the fear for their own safety, because without the usual support available, they are even less able to avoid violence and gain adequate support. Lack of information in accessible formats with constant changes in the work regime of competent bodies and institutions dealing with situations of domestic violence, limiting the otherwise limited set of communication channels through which they provide services (often only by a busy phone) makes services and institutions even less accessible to women with disabilities exposed to violence. Limiting the number of people who can gather in one place, while minimizing the departure of associates to other areas and respecting protection measures, requires special organization and strengthening the capacity of activists with disabilities for online functioning. We overcame the challenges by maximally intensifying services aimed at empowering women with disabilities in all ten municipalities in which we implement activities in this project period, as well as the production of information material in easy to understand language and in various formats (printed brochures, audio – video recordings). We organize activities on raising the capacity of service providers in small online groups with intensive cooperation with local organizations of persons with disabilities and activists with disabilities from target municipalities whose capacities for online activism we have improved – said Svjetlana Timotic.

Representatives of institutions and organizations from the region also took part in the discussion: Gordana Gavrilovic, Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, on behalf of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality from Serbia, Samra Filipovic Hadziabdic, Director of the Agency for Gender Equality from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aferdita Prroni on behalf of the Center for Human Rights. democracy from Albania.

Participants expect that the first meeting of the Program Steering Committee will continue to foster cooperation in preventing and ending violence against women at the regional and national levels.

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