Gender equality and women's empowerment are not only human rights; they are also imperative for achieving equality and participation in the creation of public and social life of a country.
In the Republic of Serbia, formally speaking, women and men have equal rights. However, numerous studies (Position of Women in Serbia 2014 - The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social Affairs and Veterans and Report on Public Opinion Research
“Citizens Attitudes on discrimination in Serbia 2013”- Office of the Commissioner for Gender Equality) show that the overall socio-economic status of women is in a much worse position than men and that there is a dichotomy between guaranteed rights and specific practices in implementing the public policy. The main policy makers are still men who occupy leadership positions in the political structure and although women make up more than half of the population, they are not sufficiently involved in all the political processes that are of interest to the entire nation.
According to a survey conducted by the Office of the Commissioner for Gender Equality exposure to discrimination is in the first place experienced by women (42% of respondents gave a positive response). Discrimination is most present in the areas of employment, access to health care and in education. Institutions cited as frequently discriminating are political parties, government, parliament and the courts.
The causes of exclusion of women from public life lie in the institutional and structural discrimination against women, which leads to the creation of public policies that do not protect the rights, needs and interests of a large part of the population.
Gender inequality in the Republic of Serbia can be recognized in all aspects of social reality, particularly in the areas of management and decision-making in politics and economics. Serbia is a signatory of the Declaration of Beijing plus 20, but since it is not legally binding Serbian respect of its principles is far disproportionate to its true capacity.
SRH Serbia is committed in the introduction of a gender perspective into all policies and institutional developments in all areas and at all levels.
SRH Serbia through the process of advocacy in cooperation with government institutions and offices as well as through the activities of the Parliamentary Group on Reproductive Health, Gender issues and HIV / AIDS advocating for the adoption of gender-sensitive policies and legislation that will increase the capacity of women in decision making, who will thus be able to advocate for better economic, political, social and health status of women, gender budgeting , use of gender-sensitive language and creation of gender-specific statistics.
Through years of outreach work with users, SRH Serbia is also committed to respecting diversity and elimination of discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual identity and sexual orientation.
Through engaging and cooperation with government offices and OCDs which are dealing with human rights, SRH Serbia support the activities which are directed towards the empowerment of institutionally-based human rights and creation of equal opportunities policy, regardless of differences.
SRH Serbia, with the assistance of Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), as part of the funding for the SRH Serbia’s project Scale-up for the future – Building sustainable Human Rights Based Centre for LGBT community in Southern and Eastern Serbia, organised a regional Conference titled Queering Human Rights with the objective to build partnerships to promote and advocate for regional priorities in the field of SRHR and gender equality. Mutual collaboration grounds were identified in the region, but different circumstances require restricted approach that addresses regional characteristics. Moreover the Conference explored how regional policies are linked to the national level and worked on updating advocacy knowledge to enforce these at national level.