Gender equality Organisations hold March to mark International Women’s Day

Organisations for gender equality marked on Friday International Women’s Day, 8 March, with a march in the centre of Skopje because of, as they said, gender-based violence, mobbing, lower salaries when compared to men and discrimination. Activists urged politicians to support laws that improve women’s rights. Sneska Ilic of the Gender Equality Platform said there were a lot of problems, including there being no gynaecologists in 43 municipalities and over 60% of women not being active on the labour market despite having master’s and PhD degrees. “We urge the state to take concrete measures right away to end juvenile marriages,” Salia Bekir Halim, representative of an Suto Orizari-based initiative of Roma women. Vangelina Parmacka of the National Federation of Farmers stated that women in rural environments faced a big number of challenges and problems. The Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Mila Carovska, believes that the anti-discrimination draft law, which is among the main demands of activists for women’s rights, will soon be supported by all parties. “I expect MPs to very soon vote through all reform laws concerning improvement of citizens’ rights, including social, non-discrimination and children’s protection ones,” she stated. VMRO-DPMNE presidential candidate Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, too, participated in the march, saying “it’s high time for the country” to have a female President. The same day, PM Zoran Zaev sent a congratulatory message on the occasion of 8 March. As he said, the Government remains committed to achieving full gender equality.