We, the undersigned civil society organizations, draw attention to the inadmissible violation of the human rights of all citizens of Serbia in the entire electoral process carried out in Serbia, from the moment of the announcement of extraordinary parliamentary and local elections on November 1, 2023, through the electoral actions of the Republic Electoral Board and the City Electoral Board for the city of Belgrade that followed and culminated in the very election day of December 17, 2023.
In cooperation with organizations from the Network of Women Against Violence and the Network for the European Women's Lobby in Serbia, the Autonomous Women's Center conducted a campaign on social networks with the slogan #missedopportunities. The goal of the campaign was to point out what the previous Government and the National Assembly could have done, but failed to do, in order to ensure better support and protection for women who have experienced violence, but also for children who have witnessed violence. Women's organizations called on the incoming Government and the new MPs to provide sufficient resources, appropriate laws and policies for the support and protection of women and children from violence, to which they are entitled in accordance with the international standards adopted by Serbia.
As one of the organizations supported by the Swedish Foundation Kvinna till Kvinna in Serbia, the Autonomous Women's Center participated in the annual presentation of activities within the project "Participation and Democracy in Serbia - Women's Rights in Practice". The event was organized by ROZA from Zrenjanin in Kaštel Ečka, and the main topic was women's economic and labor rights.
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day and marking 30 years of activities of the Autonomous Women's Center in Belgrade, an expert meeting was held with representatives of organizations from the Women Against Violence Network and the European Women's Lobby Network in Serbia. The meeting discussed the new Directive on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, as well as the amendments to Directive 2012/29/EU on minimum standards for victims of crimes. Representatives of the Center for Women's Rights from Podgorica also participated in the meeting.
We celebrated 30 years of the Autonomous Women’s Center on International Human Right’s Day, and were joined by friends, colleagues, associates, feminist sisters and fellow fighters from near and far! Thank you for joining us, thank you for meeting with us, for all the hugs and kind words.
Representatives of the Autonomous Women’s Center took part in a regional conference “Empowering a Feminist Approach to Transgenerational Trauma – Perspectives of women who have survived sexual violence in war” held in Sarajevo, and spoke on a panel on regional activism and solidarity against sexual violence in war.
The Autonomous Women’s Center and Dah Theater from Belgrade, with the support of Anima from Dulic, are organizing a street action on Wednesday, December 6th 2023, from noon to 1 pm, at the Republic Square, in order to call on everyone who knows women living in violence to encourage them to contact women’s organizations that provide help and support.
Civil society organizations that provide support to women and children, including the Autonomous Women's Center, sent an Open Letter to the President of the Council for Creating a Stimulating Environment for the Development of Civil Society and members of citizens' associations and civil society organizations within, on the occasion of the BIRN report on the division public funds to phantom organizations for non-existent activities.
The fourth AFW festival in Novi Sad opened with the panel "Violence after violence - institutions, media, public", which is dedicated to violence in institutions, the experience of numerous women who reported it. The reason for the discussion at the panel was the testimony of the actress Milena Radulović, which "in action" showed what re-traumatization and secondary victimization looks like, the insensitivity of the judge and the court procedure, the non-use of existing mechanisms for the protection of victims of violence (as witnesses), which can be considered institutional violence. This kind of violence is subsequently deepened by unethical media coverage, and the question "When does violence stop?"
At the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Victimology Society of Serbia entitled "Victim Support and Prevention of Victimization: Challenges and Perspectives", we participated in the thematic session "Victimization and Social Reaction", with a statement entitled "Do we recognize child witnesses of domestic violence as victims?", which were prepared by Ivana Milosavljević-Đukić (from the Center for the Protection of Infants, Children and Youth and the College of Social Work) and Tanja Ignjatović.