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Photo: Protector of Citizens

The Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality, Ms. Jelena Stojanović, stated today that in addition to poverty, discrimination and violence, main problems faced by the women from rural areas included the lack of special services and support services, as well as more difficult access to healthcare institutions.

At the event “Position of women in rural areas, discrimination and violence against the elderly women and the importance of seeking protection “organized in Sirogojno on the occasion of International Women’s Day – 8 March, Stojanović called on all attendees to approach the Protector of Citizens if they believe that their rights have been violated.

“Approach the Protector of Citizens when the competent authorities do not act upon violence reports, when you have problems with “administrative silence”, if you do not receive a decision on the right to pension within two months, if the cadaster does not act within two months on your request for registration, if you cannot go to a specialist check-up for which you have obtained referral or for any other reason which you believe calls into question the exercise of your guaranteed rights” Stojanović said at the event organized by the Associations “Zlatiborski krug” from Čajetina and “Snaga prijateljstva – Amity” from Belgrade.

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Photo: Protector of Citizens

The Chair of the Association “Snaga prijateljstva – Amity”, Ms. Nadežda Satarić indicated that the practice showed that the elderly women were in a worse position than the elderly men because their pensions were lower, they did not own property, they were more often victims of violence and neglect and added that their right to access the healthcare services was endangered.

The representative of the Council for Gender Equality of Čajetina Municipality, Ms. Brankica Rajović, presented the plans for holding workshops with women from rural areas on health preservation, as well as the procedures to report domestic violence.

The representative of the Association” Zlatiborski krug” Ms. Zorica Milosavljević said that the Association existed for 20 years and that their target groups were the elderly, the young and the women, with particular focus on women aged 70 and 80.

The participants of the forum, women from the villages of Sirogojno, Rožanstvo, Kriva Reka and those from Zlatibor emphasized that up until several years ago they had not had health station, dental hospital and local transportation, but that it was no longer the case.

They stated that there were systemic problems regarding the approach to healthcare and social welfare services, education, transport in rural areas and that amendments to regulations were needed in order to address them.