12 members of the BRDN’s Gender Equality Hub, participated at the two-day training on gender equality and mainstreaming, organized in Skopje on April 16th and 17th. The participants learned about gender roles and stereotypes; gender inequality; gender mainstreaming; gender division of labor; practical and strategic gender needs. The training helped the members of the Hub to equip with knowledge useful for their further work in applying gender mainstreaming within BRDN and creating awareness regarding the important role of rural women and men in decision making within the rural households and strengthening negotiating power of women in the rural society.
Gender mainstreaming is one of the major challenges of BRDN for increasing the participation of the women in rural development and include women from rural communities in the decision making process since rural life and disadvantages arising thereof have been influencing rural women in different ways than rural men. Rural women from the Western Balkan countries face similar challenges due to the gender inequality which persists in the region, such as: feminized poverty; insecurity in the labor market; a growing share of unpaid care work; uneven progress on tackling harassment and violence; ensuring access to health, sexual and reproductive rights; greater duties regarding family and care for family members, lack of effective use of ownership rights, patriarchal family relations, relative invisibility in most agricultural and rural development programs and insufficient representation in the decision making process. Therefore, BRDN established the Gender Equality Hub with aim to provide structural approach for securing adequate representation of the rural women needs in the Western Balkan countries.