ekonomsko osnazivanje zena 01

The Autonomous Women's Center organized this expert meeting with the aim of presenting the model of mediation in the employment of women who survived domestic violence, developed by the Second Basic Public Prosecutor's Office (BPPO) in Belgrade, in order to open a discussion on whether this or a similar model would could come to life within all six BPPOs for the City of Belgrade.

The expert meeting was organized as part of the AWC project for the economic empowerment of women who experienced violence "Self-reliant and Free - economic empowerment women who survived violence in Serbia", which was financed by the Avon Foundation Fund.

First, Anja Zečević, project coordinator at AWC, welcomed the participants on behalf of the organizers and briefly highlighted the reasons why this topic is extremely important as a matter of prevention and protection of women and victims of domestic violence. The meeting was moderated by Jovana Markulić from AWC, announcing the speakers who presented the work model: Milica Ljubičić, Deputy Public Prosecutor in the Second BPPO in Belgrade, the initiator and coordinator of the team, as well as Željka Zelenović Vuković from the National Employment Service (NES), Voždovac branch and Tatjana Mijušković from NES, Čukarica branch.

Milica Ljubičić described the way of working, emphasizing the importance of the support provided by AWC through its participation in meetings. She concluded her presentation by saying that this activity does not increase the obligations of the representatives of the system, on the contrary, in relation to the time invested, the prescribed measures are implemented more efficiently with significantly better effects for the victims as the ultimate beneficiaries. Željka Zelenović Vuković pointed out that it is a model that she would recommend to all NES branches. That cooperation with BPPO and Social Welfare Centers (SWCs) is a stronghold that is important for NES in terms of exchanging information, legality of actions and achieving results, both at the level of statistics and at the level of concrete examples of good practice. Tatjana Mijušković pointed out that the effect of this cooperation and work is that the counselors in NES have improved their skills and knowledge for talking and working with victims, that they understand much better temporary incapacity to work, returning to the abuser, women with diagnoses, women's needs to get out of the house.

In the discussion, Verica Stanojević from the Rakovica Department, who participates in these meetings, emphasized the importance of this work from the perspective of SWCs and the experience of her department. Gorjana Mirčić Čaluković, coordinator for gender-based violence at the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade, praised this work program, stressing that it is a unique example not only in Belgrade, but in all of Serbia. Considering the importance of this activity, she will launch an initiative to extend the model to all 17 Belgrade municipalities. Milica Ljubičić offered to support the establishment of this work model in other BPPOs in the territory of the City of Belgrade. Tatjana Mijušković reminded that local Councils for gender equality can be the initiators of such activities and the involvement of other actors, such as employers, health centers, police and other organizations

Tanja Ignjatović from AWC asked if this way of working also includes women with the experience of violence who are employed in places that do not match their qualifications, who would like to change jobs or acquire other skills, which was confirmed. She also asked if the possibility of including other services in this work was considered, primarily those that provide health care and psychological support to women, because women who have more difficulty in finding work always have complex needs. She also pointed out that AWC recently completed the first group training on assertiveness for women who have experienced violence, which is important for all their communication and self-relation, but which can also be used in employment, and will consider whether this kind of support could also be offered to women involved in employment mediation activities at meetings of the Second BPPO.

Anja Zečević pointed out that it is important when working with women who have survived violence to work on psychological and economic empowerment at the same time, so that the woman can be empowered and independent in many ways, which gives her greater opportunities to break out of the situation of violence. Milica Ljubičić stated that the inclusion of other services could be an idea for further work, not as a constant presence, but occasionally and targeted, in order to establish contacts and obtain relevant data. Gorjana Mirčić Čaluković added that health institutions are important collaborators, that there are teams specialized in violence issues there, and that the Municipality of Grocka is an example of good practice. Željka Zelenović Vuković concluded the discussion by stating that this program gives meaning to what is being done.

The Autonomous Women's Center will continue to cooperate and exchange information on the possibilities of economic empowerment of women with experience of violence with all relevant institutions in the territory of the City of Belgrade, with the aim that this and other positive models receive the attention they deserve and become a standard of work.

ekonomsko osnazivanje zena 02