• Saturday, 18 May 2024

Xhaferi: North Macedonia an example of gender equality implementation in the region

Xhaferi: North Macedonia an example of gender equality implementation in the region

Skopje, 15 April 2024 (MIA) – North Macedonia is strongly committed to implementing the women, peace and security agenda. As an active NATO member, we support the implementation of this policy across the three main Alliance’s goals, and we have aligned our National Action Plan with related initiatives, said caretaker PM Talat Xhaferi during the International Forum for Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Forum) in Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo on Monday.

He noted that the three principles of integration, inclusivity, and integrity are fundamentally implemented in everyday work and in politics in North Macedonia.

“The essence is what drives us every day in making political decisions aimed at achieving a single goal: meeting the standards for gender equality. Legislation plays an incredibly important role in this process, as it provides the framework for representation. This is evident in North Macedonia's second National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing Resolution 1325 adopted in 2020, serving as a five-year strategic plan for achieving real gender equality, integration, and transparency at the national level,” Xhaferi said.

He also underlined that gender issues in North Macedonia are gaining significant attention and becoming one of the priorities through reforms, which the government began implementing in 2017 and shortly before country’s full membership in NATO.

“These reforms primarily happen in the way we think about gender and integrate it into every policy. Whether it's the Istanbul Convention, social reform, One Society for All, and a range of other policies our government implements, or focusing on women in the security sector, their ultimate goal is complete inclusion, creating a space that leads to real gender equality,” Xhaferi underlined.

He underscored that the women, peace and security agenda was one of the priorities during North Macedonia’s OSCE Chairpersonship last year. To underscore this policy, he underlined that multiple high-level events were organised on this topic.

“I can say that we are a positive example. Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia is led by an excellent minister, who was also preceded by another exceptional Minister of Defence. The president of the state has a female aide-de-camp, and significant progress has been made in increasing the number of women represented in the Army, a number that has doubled in the last decade. In the same Ministry, out of the total number of employed administrative staff in leadership positions, 49 percent are women. We have eight women holding the rank of colonel, a figure that until a decade ago was zero, or one,” Xhaferi said.

According to Xhaferi, the war in Ukraine serves as a strong reminder of the necessity for active involvement of women in all areas of conflict prevention and in efforts to build, peace, stability and security. Their contribution, he added, is crucial, even in adapting policies to the new reality.

“Therefore, as a credible NATO member, we endorse the Alliance's emphasis on the women, peace, and security policy. This entails enhancing women's representation and participation in both civilian and military operations and missions within NATO, alongside greater promotion of gender equality as a reflection of our collective democratic values,” Xhaferi said.

Photo: Government