The Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pašalić, said today that the competent authorities should work to improve the position of women living in the countryside, especially older women, and facilitate their access to services in the community.
On the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, on 15 October, Pašalić reminded that women living in the countryside, especially older women, represent one of the most vulnerable categories of the population and that it is difficult for them to access health, social and other services in the community, as well as public transportation.
The Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality, Jelena Stojanović, stated that women in the countryside are not economically independent and rarely own property, that they do not always exercise their right to a pension, and that until recently there was no legal basis for them to be compensated for the many hours they spend in unpaid housework, taking care of other family members, the household and the agricultural holding.
Stojanović said that it is important for rural women, especially older women, to be empowered to report violence of any kind to the competent authorities and to recognize various forms of discrimination against them, as well as that it is necessary to work on raising their awareness of various forms of violence in the family and about protection mechanisms.
The Protector of Citizens also works to improve the realization of the rights of women in the countryside, with a special focus on older women, through the project Strengthening the capacities of the Protector of Citizens in the protection and promotion of economic and social rights, in accordance with the ratified provisions of the Revised European Social Charter, which is supported by the Council of Europe, Stojanović said.
The Deputy Protector of Citizens called on all women in the countryside, especially older women, to contact the Protector of Citizens in situations where they feel that their rights have been violated or when the competent authorities have not taken measures within their competence so that women, especially older women, could exercise their rights.