Geneva, October 30, 2018
Women, sex and gender minorities in Macedonia are discriminated in all spheres of life and their rights are not respected. This is the main message that Macedonian non-governmental organizations presented in Geneva before the United Nations Committee in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women by the Republic of Macedonia.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations in Macedonia told the Committee that in the period from 2008 to 2016, 70 women were killed in the country, 51 of them being a femicide victim, i.e. killed only because they are women. And, 80% of them are killed by an intimate partner. They stressed that the state failed to provide protection to victims of gender-based violence.
Access to health care and services for women remain limited, in particular access to safe and legal abortion and contraception. The position of women in the labor market is more than alarming. “In Macedonia, 65% of the inactive population is women, which is largely due to unpaid domestic work of women. “The situation with textile workers who are facing a continuous violation of their labor rights and defaming their dignity is particularly worrying”, was emphasized by the NGOs.
Roma women face multiple discrimination, both as women and as Roma, with limited access to rights guaranteed by the Convention. The fact that there are still Roma women who are not registered in the birth register, without regulated civil status and residence, and without valid personal documentation is also worrying. “We are particularly affected by limited access to education, employment and self-employment, adequate housing and quality health care, especially in the area of reproductive health,” said the representatives attending the committee’s session. A special review of this issue was given in the report of the National Roma Centrum.
Women from rural areas are invisible and forgotten by the state. Social exclusion, unemployment, gender discrimination, unequal distribution of resources, dominance of traditional norms, failure of the right of ownership of agricultural property and maternity leave, limited access to education, information, health and social services, were underlined by the National Federation of Farmers in front of the Committee .
Preparation of the reports submitted to the Committee of the United Nations in charge for the implementation of the Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the realization of the presence of the National Roma Centrum and the National Federation of Farmers in the United Nations in Geneva was realized with the support of the Swedish Co-operative Center We Effect, which pays special attention to gender equality and strengthening the voice of the poor and marginalized groups of people in exercising their rights and freedoms.
The Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women of the United Nations meets every 4 years, to review the implementation of the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The Convention was ratified by the Republic of Macedonia in 1994. The Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1979. Often described as an international law on women’s rights, this Convention defines the importance of discrimination against women and sets out legal obligations for member states to put an end to that discrimination.
NGOs addressed their statements to the Committee on Monday, October 29th, and representatives of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia will address on Thursday, 1 November, at the session for reviewing the implementation of the Convention by the Republic of Macedonia starting at 10 am. The full session can be streamed live on webtv.un.org.
NGOs: Margini Coalition, HOPS, STAR-STAR, ESE Association, Akcija Zdruzenska, Open Gate Macedonia, European Roma Rights Center, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Republic of Macedonia – LGBTI Support Center, HERA Association, Reaktor Association – Research in action, Roma Women Initiative from Shuto Orizari, Center for Integration – Ambrela, Center for Development of Democracy and Initiatives – CDRIM, Center for Social Initiatives Nadez (Hope), Association Sumnal, National Federation of Farmers, National Roma Centrum, Network for representation of Roma.