Women’s movement: The beginning of society's emancipation and an important lesson for the future

December 5, 2023


Kolašin, 5 December, 2023 – The establishment of the women's movement 80 years ago in Kolašin marked the beginning of the emancipatory journey for women and the entire Montenegrin society. Today, after 80 years since women actively participated in the people's liberation struggle, secured political and economic rights, the process of achieving freedoms and full enjoyment of the rights obtained is not complete, especially considering regressive processes and the re-patriarchization of societies.

This was emphasized at the third event within the Gender Equality Talks “Unfinished emancipation – where are we after 80 years”, which commemorated the anniversary of the establishment of the women’s movement in Montenegro, centered around the anti-fascist uprising of the Montenegrin people under the name AFŽ for Montenegro and Boka.


The key question addressed was why these values have not been rooted in our societies over the past 80 years, considering that all their political demands and vision are still relevant today and align completely with the sustainable development agenda created by the UN decades later.

The assessment of the panellists is that this emancipatory step has not been properly valued. Today, as highlighted, multiple crises shape a context that requires a re-evaluation of the values on which modern civilization was built, protecting the level of acquired rights and freedoms. It is clear that freedoms and rights are not given as gifts and must be continuously reaffirmed.

As concluded, today’s date is not just a reflection on the past but a foundation and inspiration for the future. Discussions on gender equality have illuminated the actions of the women’s movement over the past eight decades, which can serve as a platform for learning.

In Kolašin, after the panel discussion, partners from the civil sector and the academic community highlighted the historical paths and points of the women’s movement’s struggle. Following that, the play “Political History of Women in Montenegro” was performed, based on historiographical material, providing an authentic overview of the development of women’s rights in Montenegro.


Participants in the event included Tatjana Koprivica, art historian and researcher, Adnan Prekić, historian and researcher, Milica Nikolić and Marija Blagojević, gender equality experts from UNDP, Branko Baletić, academician from CANU, Aida Koluder-Agić, member of the regional feminist network, Sonja Lokar, international gender equality expert, Dragan Mitov Đurović, Secretary-General of SUBNOR, Jasmina Nikčević, member of the SUBNOR Executive Board, Milosava Bulatović, representative of the Municipality of Kolašin, Biljana Pejović, Head of the Gender Equality Department of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Kaća Đuričković, Gender Equality team leader at UNDP, and Duška Pejović, journalist and gender equality trainer.

The event was organized by UNDP in collaboration with the embassies of the Czech Republic and Austria in Montenegro, the Delegation of the European Union, the Municipality of Kolašin, the Cultural Center of Kolašin, SUBNOR, the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (CANU), civil society, and the Gender Equality Department of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.