You are currently viewing Gender Equality – Feminine Empowerment and Inclusion and in Private and Professional Aspects of Society

Gender Equality – Feminine Empowerment and Inclusion and in Private and Professional Aspects of Society

Noticeable and present, or at least that is what most people I know tell me, I firmly believe that personal development happens “outside the box” and that it is the key to societal change if we want to see a positive future, tomorrow’s decision-makers have to make mistakes and learn in the process. My motto is “don’t let the unknown bend or break you”. 

Gender Equality associates equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities to people of all genders which is by today’s standards situated as a basic human right by most laws in the world. Looking in retrospect 40-50 years, the prospect of 2021 may have been perceived as a year where there would be a cure for every disease, flying cars or that we would live in a state of utopia. Nevertheless, technology is advancing at an exponential rate, but when it comes to Gender Equality we are still witnessing to devaluation, criticism and retention of old and “archaic” treatment of in most cases – women.

Equality not only affects women, but it also affects entire economies

Equality not only affects women, but it also affects entire economies, it affects the state of affairs of local, regional and international communities. Today, the number of women engaged in politics, business and general decision-making is growing as a result of the progress of the tireless work certain countries have decided to implement. Starting from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949 by the United Nations which almost all of today’s nations have signed, to Gender Equality being one of the Goals in the UN’s  Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 ( nations have truly moved on from patriarchal thinking and enabled women to develop leadership qualities. Some of today’s most robust societies are a result of the ever-growing involvement of women in every aspect of life. In these cases, it is unfathomable for women to not pursue her own path, contrary to the more traditional thinking that women should and have to be “at home”.  We can see by this that Gender 

Currently, there are many issues women face on a day to day scale, we have already heard of the following: “For every dollar a man makes, a woman earns 0.80 cents”, this although true varies in different parts of the world. From the pay gap to sexual assault and harassment in the workplace to poor access to healthcare and no independence when it comes to their decisions.     

Private Sector Growth and engagement of women

North Macedonia ranks 35 out of 189 countries in the Human Development Report’s gender-inequality index. As continuous legal changes are being made in Macedonia in order to advance gender equality, the last being the Ratification of the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination in December 2020 there are still aspects which need to be addressed when it comes to equality. When it comes to Private Sector Growth and engagement women are still being paid less than men with a gap of 17 cents and are far less in the workforce of the country having a 26 per cent point gap in the labour market. Private sector growth is reliant on these women and yet, inadequate access to childcare, transportation as well as the responsibilities of caring for family members limit women’s abilities to work outside of the home, this is especially important for women in rural areas in the country because 41 per cent is reported to be living in rural areas. Additionally, limited access to education for women and gender limitation norms from the past is deterring women from learning new skills and advancing their knowledge.  Not all is bad, Macedonia outperforms most countries in Europe when it comes to women’s participation in the political sphere as a result of changes in election principals. In 2015 Macedonia mandated that 40% of elected officials have to be from a less represented sex. Women are also more involved in social and community impact activities than men.

North Macedonia, apart from government institutions, is seating most of the worldwide international government organizations but also has a plethora of local and global NGOs whose main point of action is Gender Equality.  OSCE as one of the key stakeholders has contributed to gender equality in Macedonia. Namely, their mission to Skopje in 2016 has made possible the development of institutional and legislative infrastructure, their impact had, in turn, assisted the government to draft the Law for Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, a predecessor of the newer legislative changes of the present. Another key organization is UNDP in North Macedonia. As part of the UN and the main contributor towards the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP regularly partners with organizations especially Government Organization and NGOs to ensure promotion and action plan towards Gender Equality. Other notable organizations that promote Gender Equality are Hera and Civica Mobilitas.

Nevertheless, these facts are summed and taken from the whole population of the country. When we segment that population by ethnicity we can see that the gap is even bigger. Studies have shown that Roma women are at the bottom of the pack. They face social exclusion from society and are barely recognized by social institutions. Macedonia has the only municipality which is in Skopje – Suto Orizari in the world where Roma are a majority, yet instead of using this as a powerful driver to develop change and promote multicultural gender equality, bad infrastructure access to education, and financial instability added by the societal perception of these people gives them very low chances to escape and acknowledge the benefits of gender equality.

Even if Macedonia is in Europe and reaching high towards joining the European Union, there is still a need for institutional and societal action in order to change and promote gender equality. When it comes to education, Macedonia needs to see more multiethnic and cultural-based activities in the country’s elementary education system as well as pre-school education as well as enabling access to education to children from secluded ethnicities and areas. By enabling the promotion of activities for integration and social cohesion with government institutional support, women can be more engaged and help tackle bottlenecks in society in order to continuously promote gender equality.

International organizations should exert more pressure and influence over stagnating countries

We believe that change comes from within, which is why we strive to impact locally, local-oriented development with stakeholders is key as local can upscale to national and then even international. 

We can safely say that even in the 21st century, Gender Inequality is still dominant, although we are seeing change, that change is disproportional, as Westernized countries are continuously developing ideas and methodology to achieve Gender Equality, there are parts of the world that are stagnating, or in some cases, even going backwards. This even raises the question: Should international organizations exert more pressure and influence over stagnating countries and how will that be possible without breaching the boundaries of national jurisdiction. As part of our mission, the Impact Foundation believes in social inclusion and prosperity, which includes Gender Equality. 

Filip Dzhambazoski

Filip Dzambazoski works as Marketing & Communications Assistant at Impact Foundation. Filip's completed his branch of studies in Law but is passionate about exploring new fields and expanding his knowledge. For him, "Realizing your passion by helping others find theirs" directly correlates to the way we should shape today's leaders into the future decision-makers.