Serbia: Alternative Report to the CEDAW Committee
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 3:58 AM

The alternative report to CEDAW on Serbia was issued on 30 March 2007 on behalf of Women’s NGOs, including Voice of Difference, Autonomous Women’s Center, ASTRA, Incest Trauma Center, and Women in Black. The purpose of this independent document is to assist the CEDAW Committee in analyzing the State Report of Serbia issued in 2006. The alternative report encompasses the period from 1992 until 2006 and covers several areas of importance in gender politics.

Areas of emphasis include the definition of discrimination against women, state policy of elimination of discrimination against women, sex role stereotyping, trafficking in women, the position of women in the labor market, as well as access to education, healthcare, marriage and family life.

The alternative report analyzes both the factual and legal situation. It states that the dire situation of women cannot be understood without an analysis of Slobodan Milosevic’s criminal regime. Under his rule, a combination of war, corruption, hyperinflation, international sanctions, influx of refugees and NATO bombings all contributed to gender inequality and criminalization in society. Women suffered the most and have seen their health, as well as legal and social rights, deteriorate.

The report concludes that even after the overthrow of Milosevic in 2000, women’s rights have not improved. The current government is characterized by disrespect for international institutions and local NGOs. The report makes a series of recommendations, including calls for better monitoring of women’s rights abuses. It also suggests the CEDAW Committee outline the government’s specific obligations to the treaty.

Compiled from: Voice of Difference from Serbia: Alternative Report to the CEDAW Committee, 30 March 2007.