On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality Jelena Stojanović stated today that this type of violence was still present in our communities and that elderly women, especially those in rural areas, faced numerous problems such as poverty, discrimination and violence, as well as the lack of special services and support services.

At the event devoted to the prevention of violence and discrimination against the elderly women in rural areas in the village of Medveđa near Trstenik, organized by the Association "Snaga prijateljstva - Amity" and the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, Stojanović stated that the competent authorities should make additional efforts to provide the elderly with all necessary support services, especially amid pandemic.

Stojanović again urged all elderly people in Serbia, especially elderly women in the countryside, to approach the competent authorities and the Protector of Citizens if they believed that their rights had been violated by the competent authorities or were exposed to any kind of abuse and violence.

The Chair of the Association "Snaga Prijateljstva- Amity", Ms. Nadežda Satarić, said at the gathering that older women and older men in the village were endangered since their social welfare centers, police, courts, and healthcare institutions were located remotely.

"Violence is prohibited by law today. No one, including the elderly, should suffer violence, but report it, because otherwise their health becomes impaired and they dependent on others. Economic violence can easily lead to older women becoming homeless," Satarić said.

The participants agreed that violence against women is everywhere, that there were problems caused by low farmers’ pensions and financial social welfare, that many health care services were even more inaccessible due to the pandemic and that older women in single rural households were especially endangered.