“1,000 Women” Initiative Launched

The Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Government of Serbia, in cooperation with Ethno Network and NALED, launched an initiative today for the employment of 1,000 women in rural areas during the next year, with the task of making traditional handicrafts as business and diplomatic gifts.

The "1,000 Women" initiative is aimed at socially responsible companies, institutions and embassies that can contribute to the economic empowerment of women and young people in the countryside and preserve the cultural heritage of our country by purchasing fine handicrafts for presentation needs.

"More than 50% of working-age women in rural areas are formally unemployed, 3 out of 4 women work without pay, and only 12% are property owners. This represents a neglected potential for social and economic development. Valuing the work of women in the village, as Deputy Prime Minister, I am gifting traditional Serbian products made by women in the countryside to all officials I meet. With this initiative we want to contribute to the reduction of poverty, economic empowerment and affirmation of the role of women in the local community and rural economy" - said Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and the chairman of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality Prof. PhD Zorana Mihajlović, as a patron of the " 1,000 women" initiative at its presentation.

The ceremony in the City Parliament of Belgrade also presented the website www.1000zena.rs, which contains information on the most beautiful handicrafts from all over Serbia and objects made of natural materials using old techniques such as embroidery and gold-thread, needle lace, weaving. The site also started the " Employment Counter" that will monitor the number of women employed.

"We want to provide a job for 1,000 women for at least three months in the next year. In order for a woman to make additional income for her household, she needs to produce and sell 14 medium-sized handicrafts (about 40 hours of work), so we are inviting socially responsible organizations to join and support our 1,000 women" - said the president of Ethno network and Executive Director of NALED Violeta Jovanović.

In addition to purchasing authentic handicrafts from Ethno network’s women as business and protocol gifts, support can also be provided in the form of assisting with product design and packaging, promotion, organization of specialized trainings, workshops for children and youth and public works, while cities and municipalities should also support employment programs through gender budgeting and the opening of ethno galleries.

The initiative was supported by the Ambassador of Norway, H.E. Arne Sannes Bjornstad, Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament prof. PhD Vladimir Marinković, Managing Director of CRH Frederick Aubet and other representatives of the business community, institutions and diplomatic corps.


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