Results of the research on gender-based discrimination in the field of labor and employment conducted by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka were presented yesterday in Sarajevo. The results point to the fact that legal practice when it comes to gender-based discrimination merely exists, that there are still a lot of problems regarding proving procedure and victimization of the persons who initiate procedure; BiH lacks unique database on cases of discrimination and people choose not to report discrimination due to the fear of losing job, shame and reaction of the community.
The research was conducted last year and included analysis of the legal framework, collecting data from different actors, online questionnaire and detailed interview with victims of discrimination. Besides BiH, the research with the same methodology has been conducted in the countries of the Region as part of the regional project “Improvement of the Women’s Labor Rights” funded by the European Union and the Swedish Agency for Development and Cooperation.
In introduction speech, Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation in the Delegation of European Union in BIHreminded that gender equality is the fundamental value of the European Union and that concept of equal benefits became part of the Roma Agreement back in 1957. “It is obvious that widely accepted attitudes on gender equality in BiH has to change”, added Vannini.
Nicole Farnsworth, Program Director of the Women’s Network Kosovo said that the results of the research in all states are similar and that all states have confusing laws that make it hard for discrimination to be reported and that most common types of discrimination are present when applying for the job, interviewing, sexual harassment and when implementing concept of equal benefits.
Nives Jukić, President of the Institution of Ombudsman stated that changing opinions of the population is the key issue that has to be further implemented. She stated that few cases of gender-based discrimination have been reported. “On case was about the owner of the factory Bema and the other about women who, after maternity leave, has gotten lower position on the job. She paid her pregnancy by getting low ranked working position”, said Jukić.
Branislava Crnčević, from the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH, stressed that measures of privatization and liberalization of the market ruined social rights of men and women, especially single mothers, migrants, female workers that have shorter working time, etc.