Speech on the occasion of celebrating the International Women’s Day - This is our struggle!

March 8, 2022

Daniela Gašparíková, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro

Dear Mr. Vuković, Mrs. Vlahović Andrijašević, respected panellists, dear participants,

  • I am honoured to have the opportunity today to pay tribute to all women that have left mark in the long existence of Montenegro.
  • Throughout history and around the globe, women have had immense influence on societies’ development. They have fought for equality, social justice, workers’ and women’s rights. Women have fought for freedom and peace.
  • Today, as the military offensive continues in Ukraine, there is a critical need to keep the focus on the devastating impact of conflict on women and girls, including the risk of sexual and gender-based violence they face, especially those displaced and refugees. Their needs must be factored into the humanitarian response and they must be included in decision-making processes. This is important in Ukraine as well as across all crisis and conflicts zones whether it’s Afghanistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and others. That’s why we stand firmly on principles of humanity and development. We continue to raise voices for peace, justice, human rights and equality.
  • This International Women’s Day brings the world together under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.  It comes in yet another year in which countries are taking actions as part of the COVID-19 recovery that also threatens to undermine results of struggle for women’s empowerment and socio-economic status of women.
  • Furthermore, gender inequality coupled with climate and environment crises is one of the greatest current challenges to sustainable development, threatening human rights and widening inequalities.
  • As the world responds to all of these crises, there is a chance to rethink development, reinstate the peace,  and scale up and accelerate progress towards inclusive and green economies, with human rights non-negotiably at the center.
  • We are happy to have joined hands with the Capital City Podgorica and Public Library “Radosav Ljumović“ in empowering women and girls in Montenegro and to present Monography that will enable us to learn from history and give us strengths and commitment to exercise rights today, and work for better future. I would like to thank to the group of authors, and in particular leadership of the Library, for committed and passionate work on Monography that became short history book. With illustrations of female chatters, this Monography is art in its own way. 
  • Our struggle continues – and while we are celebrating and paying tribute to women’s achievements from the past, let’s take this moment to also recognize and encourage progressive female role models of today – strengthen their capabilities to act, express themselves, emancipate themselves and their communities freely, everywhere in the world.