The Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Vadim Kuznetsov, called for better implementation of the country's gender equality law in a statement released to mark today's 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day.
“By celebrating this important day, we look at the achievements of all women who gave their contribution to global development including the first female professors, doctors and political leaders.
The last 100 years were a struggle in providing women equal access to economic, social, cultural and political rights, but there is still room for improvement. Although equal rights for women and men are enshrined in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Constitution, women remain exposed to discrimination and stereotypes of a different kind. Better implementation of the country's Law on Gender Equality, would improve the situation of women in the country by boosting women's political participation. A lack of will among political parties to appoint more women to legislative and decision-making bodies means that the 40-percent quota provided for by the law remains an unused tool for ensuring gender equality.
No society can be politically, economically or socially stable if half of the population has no opportunity to participate in a consistent, strong and engaged manner. Perhaps the political stalemate, lack of new ideas, direction and solutions Bosnia and Herzegovina faces would be remedied if more women were sitting around the decision-making tables.
The possibility for all members of society to participate politically, or in any other way, in their community is fundamental to the health and vitality of our democratic institutions. This is a challenge that we all need to address, both women and men. Gender equality is a basic human rights matter for which we will continue to steadily advance.”