Describe the main features of the policy/measure:
The measure is implemented through several projects aiming to employ and empower women through teaching them entrepreneurial and digital skills that can be applied to growing businesses offering products and services in the field of cultural tradition. - The initiative “Employing 1000 Women from Rural Areas” was launched June 2017, under the auspices of Zorana Mihajlović, head of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality and the vice president of the Government of Serbia, together with the Ethno Network and NALED. The initiative encourages the employment of 1000 women and young people in rural areas in jobs related to making traditional handicrafts as business and diplomatic gifts. The program was announced to socially responsible companies, institutions, and international organization that can contribute to the economic empowerment of women and young people from rural areas and the preservation of Serbia’s heritage by purchasing high-quality handicraft products. Its defined goal was providing annually a part-time job for 1000 women and an additional source of income for their families. - The project “Empowering South Serbian Women by Forming Clusters of Old Crafts” was carried out in September and October 2017 by the Association of Business Women of Serbia, with the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation and the Development Agency of Serbia. The project activities aimed to boost economic development and solve the issue of unemployed young women in undeveloped South Serbian municipalities by encouraging self-employment in the sector of services and tourism. The project encourages preservation of cultural tradition, better quality of manufactured handicrafts and art products, opportunity for participation in national and international market as well as economic empowerment of women in rural and urban areas covered by the project. The project’s end users were existing companies, female proprietors of small and middle-size companies and shops, small and middle-sized firms headed or co-headed by women, and potential women entrepreneurs. In 2018 and 2019, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications issued a public call for programs aiming to improve the level of digital literacy and digital competence of women in rural areas. To empower women from these areas, but also to encourage the development of digital economy and electronic trading, one of the goals that programs needed to accomplish was to increase the use of new technologies and e-services among woman from rural areas. This sort of program aids the digital placement of handicrafts, cultural heritage and creative industries products, as well as the growth of entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship in these areas.
Website of the policy/measure, if available:
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?:
- The initiative “Employing 1000 Women from Rural Areas” supported rural women’s economic empowerment, the promotion and protection of intangible cultural heritage, and the manufacture of handicraft, i.e. traditional objects. Each year, the project’s scope grew. According to the Coordination Body for Gender Equality’s 2017 report, 325 women were employed, working 7150 workdays; according to their 2018 report, 580 women were employed, with 12,756 workdays, i.e. 102,047 working hours; and according to the 2019 report, 721 participated with 15,855 workdays, or 126.843 working hours. A total of 1626 women were employed in the course of three years (2017-2019), and the project was extended and is still ongoing. - As part of the project “Empowering South Serbian Women by Forming Clusters of Old Crafts,” in September and October 2017, 40 women from urban and rural areas of the Niš, Jablanica, Pirot, and Pčinja districts (Niš, Aleksinac, Svrljig, Jelašnica, Gadžin Han, Vlasotince, Leskovac, Vranje...) participated in six-day modules in Niš. The Declaration on the Founding of the Cluster of Women Entrepreneurship, Artist and Old Crafts was signed by 36 women from the project. Following the modules, design and textile workshops were carried out, with the goal of developing innovative ideas for new projects. In December 2019, the exhibition “Talent is in Our Nature” was held as part of the closing conference. It presented results, i.e. ideas based on old crafts and transformed into usable items, such as woven, crocheted, felted fashion items, decoupage accessories, painted drinking glasses, crochet bags, paintings... The project participants’ products are available for purchase through the e-catalogue of the Association of Business Women of Serbia. - At the public call for supporting programs aiming to increase digital literacy and digital competences of women from rural areas in 2018, the projects of eight associations were approved. Through this program, 485 women completed training. They came from Bečej, Somor, Veliko Gradište, Niš, Aleksinac, Svrljig, Gadžin Han, Doljevac, Lazarevac, Sopot, Barajevo, Trastenik, Priboj, Kratovo, Jabuka, Krajčinovići, Sastavci, Dobrilovići, Novog Pazara, Sjenice. In 2019, following the same call, 27 projects were approved, enabling 1630 women to complete the project. The women were from Priboj with the surrounding local communities, Majdanpek, Subotica, Mladenovac, Novi Pazar, Barič, Belgrade, Ljig, Sjenica, Trstenik, Valjevo, Vranje, Niš, Pećinci, Prijepolje, Topola, Vrnjačka Banja, Kikinda, Zaječar, Deč.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure:
|Name of partner|
Coordination Body for Gender Equality, NALED, German Agency for International Cooperation, Developmental Agency of Serbia, and civil society organizations.