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UNDP in Montenegro

Gender equality

Equality between women and men is not just a goal in itself: it is a precondition for the fulfilment of human rights and human development in general. The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. This effort includes advocating for women’s and girls’ equal rights, combating discriminatory practices and challenging the roles and stereotypes that affect inequalities and exclusion.

In Montenegro, we support the country to set up gender agenda with international frameworks (EU & UN) and national development priorities. UNDP Montenegro is mandated to support the efforts of national partners in accelerating the country’s progress towards achieving its SDG targets. Our goal is to support the country to fulfil its commitments towards achievement of gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming, while mainstreaming gender equality into every aspect of UNDP’s work and leading by example at the same time.

UNDP's commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women is additionally affirmed in UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025 which recognizes gender equality as one of six signature solutions.


Share of seats held by women in parliament


Gender Development Index


Enterprises owned by women


Women registered as owners of family property


Gender pay gap


Although women gained political rights in 1946, their advancement in political spheres and participation in decision making was progressing slow. UNDP has worked with women’s political activists in all parliamentary political parties to assure sustainable capacity development and long-term impact. Partnership and advocacy work of UNDP and women in politics resulted in introduction of 30% quota in Electoral law and amending it further in 2014.  This joint work and efforts led to establishment of women’s party forums in all parliamentary political parties with mandatory financial resources in amount of 10% of party budgets assured through introduced provisions in the Law on Financing of Political Parties in 2019.

Toxic narratives, sexisms and misogyny have been overwhelmingly present in public context. In order to address hate speech, sexisms and violence against women in politics UNDP in partnership with Women’s Political Network – the unique cross-party alliance serving as dialogue platform, which was established with UNDP’s support – have conducted first of such kind research on VAW in politics and organised regional event to present its findings and trigger dialogue on this rising concern.


UNDP has contributed to continuous implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Montenegro. Screening of the capacities of the institutions (Parliamentary Committee for defense, Ministry of Defense, Police, Ministry of Interior) representing the main pillars for implementing the Resolution, has served as an entry point for UNDP to further support progress in this area – policy framework enhancement, capacity building, enabling environment, awareness raising and inspiring dialogue between all key stakeholders.

UNDP supported country to assess progress in regard to implementation of the UN SC Res 1325 and supported development of the new Action Plan 2021-2022 that was adopted by the Government.


One of the greatest obstacles for women in entrepreneurship is access to finance as only limited number of women in the country has ownership over assets. UNDP in partnership with WPN and through maintained advocacy work at local level, influenced improvement of women’s access to economic and financial resources and assured allocation of non-refundable funds for women’s businesses in local budgets.

Furthermore, UNDP continued to provide support to women entrepreneurs, targeting women, equipped gender equality advocates and policymakers with evidence for urgent need for more robust gender equality policies. In partnership with National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, UNDP supported development of the information data hub for women entrepreneurs that serves as one stop shop and knowledge sharing platform. 

As COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women – from increased incidence of gender-based violence, decreased access to reproductive and maternal health care to reduced economic opportunities – UNDP continued to monitor impact of COVID19 on care economy utilization by women.

Findings from the assessment in 2020 Report on Utilisation of Care work by women during Covid19 have confirmed  with estimations that women contributions to the unpaid and domestic work are 92% higher than contribution of men.

Regional initiative - UNDP and RCC Joint Action on Women's economic empowerment in the Western Balkans

In cooperation with RCC, under the Joint UNDP and RCC initiative “Women’s Economic Empowerment: Areas for Joint Actions in the Western Balkans” UNDP has deepened regional dialogue between 168 regional entrepreneurs on sustainable solutions accounting for gender equality and women economic empowerment. UNDP in cooperation with RCC has set the ground for establishing a Regional Women Entrepreneurs Hub which shall bring together women leaders and entrepreneurs to boost collaboration between public and private sectors, IFIs and academia; incentivize innovation and creativity; work towards shared goals and tackle challenges together; share challenges, experiences and good practices in shifting towards a digital and green economy and having in mind the repercussions of the pandemic.

Regional Network of Women in STEM has been developed as the part of broader regional initiative on Women’s Economic Empowerment: Areas for joint actions in the Western Balkans jointly implemented by the RCC and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Network has gathered prominent representatives of national networks of Women in uSTEM that have discussed strategic priorities and identified among other issues:  promotion of role models that young women can relate to, and identify with, to encourage their increased participation in STEM fields, Creation of mentoring (& coaching) programmes for in STEM fields, Organisation of regional consultative events to exchange ideas and experiences including scaling local STEM related events to the regional level; Sharing good practices to motivate practitioners and introduce digital tools for regional cooperation and smooth coordination. Regional Women in STEM Network held two regional meetings (in Montenegro and in Durres) and worked to develop strategic plan and regulatory framework for future work and activities.


In Montenegro, complex economic, social and political environment shadows and pushes women’s issues aside. UNDP has been an implementing partner of UN WOMEN for the Montenegrin component of the regional EU-funded program “Ending violence against women in Western Balkans and Turkey: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”. The Program aims at reducing intersectional discrimination and violence against women and girls in six Western Balkan countries and Turkey, anchored in the normative frameworks of CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention, and in alignment with EU accession standards.

To help countries in the region to identify the different forms of femicide, UN Women has started regional initiative, with UNDP support in Montenegro, on developing unique methodology on femicides well as guidance on how to identify the ‘gender dimension’ of a female homicide that will be for the first time implemented in Montenegro in partnership with partnering NGO SOS Niksic and Ombudsman.

Further, UNDP supported CSOs to monitor and address challenges with regard to implementation and monitoring of existing legal and strategical framework, victim-focused support, access to justice for victims and lack of systemic support. As a result of this support, CSOs developed shadow reports against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Istanbul Convention which are essential for addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women. In addition, UNDP has strengthened women’s organizations capacity to hold governments accountable, advocate for effective implementation; to monitor prevention of and response to violence against women and contribute to availability of and access to comprehensive, multi-sectoral services for survivors of violence.


UNDP continuously enables capacity development, to assure analytical skills and competencies across public administration institutions are deployed for problem diagnostics, solution finding, and policy evaluation when it comes to gender equality.

Recognizing human resources as key and setting up the system for gender mainstreaming at the individual, organizational, and system level, UNDP draw attention to the importance of gender mainstreaming in public administration UNDP has organised international conference “Equality in the heart of Public Administration”. Furthermore, UNDP advocated integration of Gender Equality Seal standards and integration of gender equality concerns in strategic frameworks developed in the country.

Due to its mandate – recruitment of public institutions employees and capacity development to match public employees’ competences with 21st century skills – Human Resources Management Authority (HRMA) is a best positioned institution within public administration to pilot Gender Seal in Public Institutions, with support of the UNDP Montenegro Gender Team. By adopting and thoroughly implementing standards for gender mainstreaming in work of public administration, HRMA has gone the extra mile in contributing to building society where no one is left behind. UNDP has already trained 168 public employees on gender mainstreaming in public administration.


Our dedication to gender responsive communication is reflected not only in gender equality, but other related areas of our work and gender mainstreamed content on our CO website and social networks.

UNDP has produced a number of gender-related knowledge products offering insights and lesson learned around gender. As gender-responsive communication is a must-have skill for all development practitioners, we are working on raising awareness among staff of the ways in which language can either enforce or subvert gender inequalities through many in-house trainings.

Being aware that digitalized word brings new, innovative media forms which in many cases have bigger reach and wider social influence, UNDP has developed specific project ideas aiming to boost public awareness of importance of gender equality. As part of our “Communicating gender equality” project, financed by the European Union, we have already developed online course on gender equality, strengthened capacities of public administration and Public Broadcaster RTCG.

Also, as part of this exploring adventure of influence and interconnection of media, communications, and culture on achieving gender equality, we have launched innovative campaigns, including G SPOT podcast and creation of monograph “Women of Montenegro”, celebrating women’s achievements throughout history in different fields

On the wave of interconnection between digitalization and gender related issues, we have installed art sculptures in two locations in Capital city of Montenegro, Podgorica, enabling citizens to learn about the outstanding women from Montenegrin history, whose emancipatory endeavours have contributed not only to the social context in which they lived and created but also shaped modern society.