Podgorica, March 8, 2022 – A prosperous and sustainable future with equal opportunities for all is not possible without peace and gender equality, especially today, when it is clear that security, dialogue and cooperation have no alternative. This was ordered at the presentation of the publication “Women of Montenegro“, which showcases more than 60 women who used their talent and work to emancipate the environments in which they lived and built Montenegrin society, and yet remained invisible throughout history.
On the occasion of marking the International Women's Day, UNDP, in cooperation with the Capital City Podgorica – National Library “Radosav Ljumović“, organized the event “This is our struggle“, during which the monograph was presented. With this monograph, a group of renowned authors brings facts about the life and work of women from Montenegro, based on the available historical material. The emphasis of the publication is on original portraits within it – illustrations of women, some of whom received their visual representation for the first time, based on available records about them.
The struggle of women for equality, with all its aspects and the demands they place before society and institutions, is the same as the struggle waged by our ancestors almost a century ago, when, in addition to national freedom, they won the right to vote.
Ivan Vuković, the Mayor of Podgorica, said that misogyny, sexism, chauvinism, violence against women, and unfortunately femicide, were still an integral part of the story about the position of Montenegrin women.
“If we are really ready to start living truly what we are talking about, we must remind every day and everywhere that the fight for a better society means the fight to improve the status of women. If we all want to be worthy of the heroic struggle of our ancestors for the freedom we often call for, we must be ready to fight every day for the true freedom of women in Montenegro. That is why let the fight be never-ending“, he said.
The UNDP Resident Representative for Montenegro, Daniela Gašparikova, pointed out that, throughout history and around the world, women have fought for equality, social justice, workers' and women's rights, freedom and peace. “As in other conflicts, the situation in Ukraine requires a focus on the devastating impact of the conflict on women and girls and the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, especially for displaced persons and refugees“, she said.
She pointed out that the monograph gives us the opportunity to learn from history and be committed to the realization of rights, a better future and the role of women in decision-making positions in shaping that future.
“Our struggle continues. While honoring the achievements of women from the past, let us use this moment to recognize and encourage today's women, empower them and give them equal opportunities to act and express themselves, to freely emancipate themselves and the environment in which they live and to play a significant role in dialogue on peace and security“, Gašparikova said.
According to Mirjana Vlahović Andrijašević, Director General of the Directorate for Human Rights in the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights, women's history is a history from which one does not originate, in which one does not remain, it is a history that does not shout, but rather a story without attributes and rare tangible evidence. That is why all our women from different epochs, who with their knowledge, courage, consistency, struggle, experience of femininity changed the social conditions in Montenegro, regardless of the high price they paid, remain important to us. Our female heritage and experience of femininity moves us forward, because we also encounter different social opportunities and troubles every day“, Vlahović Andrijašević said.
In accordance with its development mission, UNDP continues to provide full support to strengthening the capacity and role of cultural, media and human rights institutions, and putting all social forces in the function of creating a supportive environment that will enable women's rights and gender equality.
The monograph is dedicated to all progressive women and men on the path of modern and emancipatory action in all areas, and was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union (EU), through the project „Communicating Gender Equality“, implemented by UNDP in Montenegro and the Department for Gender Equality. Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights.