THE ROLE OF THE INSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQULITY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE SOCIAL EXCLUSION OF WOMEN IN SERBIA
The regular annual reports of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality have shown that women in our society nowadays are in a worse position than men. Since the democratic changes of 2000, the state has expressed strong willingness to struggle against social exclusion and discrimination against women. This is supported by the fact that, both in normative and institutional ways, a whole set of anti-discriminatory laws and legal provisions has been adopted, as well as the establishment of independent institutions (Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, Protector of Citizens and Commissioner for Protection of Equality) which are essential in combating discrimination as a key dimension of social exclusion. In addition to this, we should also mention the importance of the National Strategy for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination 2013-2018, along with the Strategy for Gender Equality 2016-2020.
“Attitudes of Citizens towards Discrimination in Serbia,” is a study conducted by CeSid (2013) which found that the majority of citizens believed that the society we live in is discriminatory, and that women are particularly vulnerable social group. The Commissioner paid special attention to the vulnerability of the women in 2015 by issuing “Special Report on Discrimination against Women in Serbia”. The number of female victims of violence in 2015 increased. The practice of the Commissioner for Equality Protection has shown us the importance and contribution of this institution in combating discrimination and exclusion of vulnerable social groups, especially women.
In support of this thesis, there are numerous examples of methods which are used by Commissioner when we talk about the efforts against discrimination, such as: complaints, numerous accepted accusations, issuing public warnings, initiating complaints, offering support for sustaining law amendments etc.
Societies that marginalize and denounce their citizens cannot be stable, just nor can they prosper.
Commissioner’s role has been practically proven as significant regarding the struggle against discrimination. Nevertheless, we deem that the position requires a greater number of specialists engaged within the institution and that their salaries must be increased as a way of stimulating them not to try to find a better paid job. We also hold that this Commissioner’s role would be strengthened by his larger presence in the media following the field of interest.