Only one in four real estate properties owned by women

Only one in four real estate properties in Serbia are 100% owned by women, while mixed ownership is applied to another 11% – it is indicated by the data of the Republic Geodetic Authority. In addition to the fact that women often get paid less for the same work, or have less opportunities for advancement compared to men, this issue stands as another illustrative example of the unequal position of women in our society.

The Law on Real Estate and Utility Lines Cadaster Registration came into force on 1 July, while cooperation among NALED, Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister, RGA and Economic Caucus of the National Parliament resulted in preparation and adoption of an amendment prescribing that spouses who obtain an apartment, house, or other real estate during marriage shall be automatically registered in the Cadaster as co-owners of joint property.

On the other hand, for cases of individual property obtained during marriage, there is a possibility of having spouses voluntarily opt to have one partner registered in the Cadaster as the owner, with public notary notifying the Republic Geodetic Cadaster about such choice.

"Property obtained in marriage had been treated as joint ownership so far as well, but in practice, it was the men who would usually be signed as the owner, thus causing major distress for women undergoing divorce procedure, who had to go through years-long court litigations to prove their part in the ownership. This caused excessive waste of time and funds for all protagonists, even the court"– says Jelena Bojović, Policy Director in NALED.

The amendment on automatic registration of joint ownership for spouses was one of 19 amendments for the Bill on Real Estate and Utility Lines Cadaster Registration submitted in the National Parliament by the Economic Caucus MPs, at the initiative and with the support of NALED. All 19 amendments were accepted by the Parliament thus improving the content of the Law, enabling registration of real estate property on a single place – by visiting a public notary – instead of six counters, while ensuring an up-to-date Cadaster and higher legal security.

Economic empowerment of women is in the focus of NALED activities, and one of the key initiatives was launched in cooperation with the Government’s Coordination Body for Gender Equality and the association Ethno Network, aimed at ensuring work engagement for 1,000 women and young people in the rural areas, on making traditional handicrafts to serve as corporate and diplomatic gifts. According to the “Employment time meter” on the website, the project has so far ensured work engagement lasting 9,583 work days, which is a sufficient amount to hire 436 women for one month, providing additional revenues for their household.

Women in rural area account for more than a half of population, while three out of four are not paid for the work they do. The situation with inequality is not too better when observing overall Serbia either. Only 43.7% of women are employed, compared to 56% men. Even 71% men hold managing positions; out of 250 MPs in the Parliament, 87 are women; out of 166 local governments, only 11 have female mayors. Only five among the 22 Among 22 Government members are women.   

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