The Autonomous Women's Center submitted to the Constitutional Court an initiative for the assessment of constitutionality and compliance with confirmed international agreements, Art. 58 and Art. 77 of the Law on Gender Equality, adopted in 2021.
As part of the public debate on draft judicial laws AWC submitted comments and proposals for amendments to the draft Law on the Organization of Courts, the Law on Judges and the Law on Public Prosecution to the Ministry of Justice.
The proposals of the Autonomous Women's Center were given primarily from the aspect of improving the position of women, minors and unaccompanied minors who are in the asylum system, with the aim of their more complete protection and the establishment of a more efficient asylum system in the Republic of Serbia. The comments particularly refer to persons who were exposed to acts of gender-based violence, which are recognized as acts of persecution by Article 28 of the Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection.
The comments and suggestions of the Autonomous Women's Center were given primarily from the aspect of prevention and combating gender-based violence and domestic violence, with the aim of establishing the most efficient system of protection and adequate response of all competent institutions relevant to this area.
At the proposal of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, a meeting was held with the representatives and associates of the Autonomous Women's Center where they discussed the upcoming amendments to the Criminal Code regarding its harmonization with the Council of Europe Convention against violence against women and domestic violence. The meeting agreed on the future regular exchange of information from both sides on proposals for amendments to laws that are of interest to women's rights and gender equality issues.
At the invitation of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, to submit a report on cases of child abuse, violence against women and violence against children, the Autonomous Women's Center prepared a report on the quasi-scientific concept of "alienation from parents" and its use in education of experts, in the practice of social and child protection, as well as in court practice in Serbia.
The reporting period - from May to October 2022 - Serbia spent with the Government in a technical mandate. The formation of the Government that should act as an engine of European integration waited until the deadline, even though the parliamentary majority was clear and the international and domestic circumstances demanded decisive action. Most of the reform activities in Cluster 1 have therefore been put on hold, starting with the drafting and adoption of regulations. Serbia is still far from achieving visible results in the areas monitored by the prEUgovor coalition.
Women's civil society organizations to organize a new, special session of the Committee for Education, Science, Technological Development and Information Society of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
Several women's organizations demanded from the Institute for the Improvement of Education and Training (ZUOV) to deliver to them and publicly publish the opinion of the Working Group, which was formed at the request of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in order to determine the alleged shortcomings of the biology textbook for the eighth grade of elementary school.
The Autonomous Women's Center, as an organization, and many of its members individually, supported the Press Release regarding the decision of the Ministry of Education on the "controversial" biology textbooks. We hope for a response from the authorities, as well as for the public to find out what the arguments of the working group at the Institute for the Advancement of Education are, which supported the content changes in the already approved biology textbooks for the eighth grade of elementary school, despite the declaration of the biological scientific community about the adequacy of their content.
As usual, public debates on important laws and strategic documents are opened during the summer, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports "kept us busy" us by commenting on the new Strategy Proposal for Youth in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2023 to 2030. The Autonomous Women's Center submitted 19 proposals for amendments and supplements to goals and measures, the largest number in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights and one number in the area of gender-based violence. A third of the proposals were accepted (12 out of 19), and only one was rejected.