11 – 12/11/2013, Belgrade: Autonomous Women’s Center organized a two-day international conference “How the women’s movement influenced government policy” to mark 20th work anniversary. The conference was attended by 30 women's organizations from the region and 47 organizations from Serbia, as well as over 200 participants from state institutions and other organizations.
The first day of the conference was devoted to the experiences of women's organizations in the struggle for women's rights as well as to the current situation and the problems that we face today. Speakers were professor Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on violence against women, as well as representatives of women's organizations in the region Rosa Logar (Austria), Linda Gusia (Kosovo), Neva Tole (Croatia), Spela Veselič (Slovenia), Ljiljana Raicevic (Montenegro) Svetlana Janeva (Macedonia), and Bobana Macanovic from Autonomous Women's Center.
Council of Europe Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Mr. José Mendes Bota spoke about the contribution that women's NGOs gave during the preparation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which Republic of Serbia has ratified on 31st October 2013.
A special panel was dedicated to the women who were raped during the war in former Yugoslavia, where the participants of the conferences had the opportunity to hear challenged facts of this crime against women and the ways in which activists from the region together provided support to victims (Panelists Nela Pamuković, Lepa Mladenovic, Marijana Senjak and Linda Gusia).
The second day of the conference was devoted to question how countries in the region and globally respond to the problem of violence against women. Prof. Evan Stark in his speech stressed that violence against women is the most common form of violence in the world, and that it's not just a question of what men do to women, but what they forbid women to do for themselves, their families, their environment and their community.
Two panel discussions were on the health consequences of violence against women and practices in Serbia and the USA (Panelists: Dr. Anne Flitkraft, Connecticut, USA and Dr Djordje Alempijevic from the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Belgrade) and on the specific steps that states make in effort to eradicate violence against women (Panelists Prof. Rashid Manchu, Prof. Evan Stark and Tanja Ignjatovic).