At the thematic conference held today in Sarajevo, the publication “Women and Men in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021” was presented, which gives an overview of the status of gender equality in various spheres in Bosnia and Herzegovina: health, education, labor, social protection, justice, democracy, rule of law and others.
Some of the data from the publication show that women make up more than 50% of the population in BiH, while only five women hold mayoral positions (out of a total of 141 mayors). The management structures of the largest companies in BiH are 83% men.
Introductory speeches were given by Vesna Ćužić, Director of the BiH Agency for Statistics; Samra Filipović-Hadžiabdić, Director of the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH / Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH; David Saunders, UN Women Representative in BiH; and Jurgis Vilcinskas, Acting Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH.
“The Agency for Statistics of BiH, as the coordinator of official statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is making great efforts to improve the country’s statistical system; to improve the quality of data collection and processing in order to present official statistical data to domestic and foreign users as well as possible, in accordance with their needs. Gender statistics permeates all statistical areas and is part of the institutional mechanisms needed to develop gender equality policies in BiH, as well as to monitor and evaluate the success and effectiveness of gender equality policies,” said Vesna Ćužić, Director of the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Samra Filipović-Hadžiabdić, Director of the Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized: “The benefit of the publication ‘Women and Men in BiH’ is not only in providing institutions and organizations with up-to-date and accurate data for adequate planning of measures and actions to ensure gender equality, but it is also a very important tool for raising awareness and informing the public and all structures of society about the need for continuous work to achieve this goal.”
Acting Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Jurgis Vilcinskas underlined that ensuring equal rights for women is a fundamental value for the EU. „Women and men are equal, but we still have serious obstacles to attaining full equality . We work for societies where everyone is able to fulfil their potential, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman. In BiH, the EU has provided extensive technical and financial assistance to support gender equality and we remain committed to work with decision-makers in order to engage together and make a real difference,” said Vilcinskas.
“Strong policies cannot be created without easily accessible data that is disaggregated by gender. UN Women in BiH will strive to support and mobilize all institutions in this country to take measures to improve the lives of all women, men, girls and boys.Now is the time for us all to accelerate our policy-making so that we can make a greater impact and difference,” said David Saunders, UN Women Representative.
Following the opening remarks, Carlien Scheele, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), addressed the audience with a video message and stressed the importance of gender statistics for the advancement of gender equality, as well as cooperation with the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Scheele also announced a partial equality index for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is under development and is expected to be presented this year.
The event was organized by UN Women in cooperation with the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Agency for Gender Equality, within the project “EU Gender Equality Facility (EU Podrška za rodnu ravnopravnost)” funded by the European Union in the amount of 500.000 euros to improve the efficacy of institutional mechanisms for gender equality in BiH.
Project activities are implemented with the support of project partners: Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gender Center of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gender Center of the Government of Republika Srpska, and project partners Directorate for European Integration, Ministry of European Integration and International Cooperation Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for European Integration.