1. Implementing gender-responsive budgeting at the regional level in Serbia: the case of Provincial Secretariat for Labour, Employment and Gender Equality of Vojvodina
The Provincial Secretariat for Labour, Employment and Gender Equality (PSLEGE) is a governmental body in Serbia’s Autonomous Province (AP) of Vojvodina established in 2002. Its activities focus on monitoring and improving conditions in the fields of labor, employment and gender equality. Specific responsibilities in the field of employment include: proposing and implementing active employment policy measures carried out on the territory of the AP Vojvodina; employment-related data collection and analysis; monitoring of all processes related to labor and employment in the territory of the province; outlining recommendations and proposing measures in this field; and implementing and improving employment and self-employment programs. In the area of gender equality, PSLEGE work is focused on: promotion of the concept of gender equality; cooperation with all relevant institutions and governmental and non-governmental organizations in achieving equal opportunities; and supporting the establishment of gender equality mechanisms on the local level. A strong institutional framework for gender equality has been developed in the province. In particular, in 2005 the provincial parliament passed a Decision on Gender Equality which set the ground for establishing PSLEGE as the gender equality mechanism more firmly and gave the provincial government a mandate to pursue equal opportunity policies and positive measures in the fi eld of employment. In 2008, building on this framework and the implied political will, PSLEGE started working on gender-responsive budgeting in order to advance gender mainstreaming in Vojvodina.
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2. The role of civil society organizations in gender budgeting initiatives: the case of Serbia at local level
The legal and institutional framework for gender equality at the local level in Serbia was underdeveloped at the time of initiation of the pilot GRB work. The first local level gender equality mechanisms were gender focal points, which were established in the period 2002-2005 through an initiative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the goodwill of local authorities. Since 2004, a lax quota was introduced in local elections, which led to an increase in the total number of women councilors (from under 10% in 2000 to around 20% in 2004), but unevenly spread across Serbia's diverse municipalities.
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