OSCE presents findings of its survey on well-being and safety of women in North Macedonia

OSCE presents findings of its survey on well-being and safety of women in North Macedonia

The OSCE Mission to Skopje and the OSCE Gender Section presented on 15 May 2019 in Skopje a survey that shows that violence against women in North Macedonia is often underreported and that some forms of physical and sexual violence are widespread in the country.  The research finds there is a particular need for more support and targeted action to help women from minority groups and from rural areas.

The survey is the first of its kind conducted in South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe. It gives a detailed picture of the physical, sexual and psychological violence suffered by women and girls in North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine. The survey also covered Kosovo.

It aims to provide solid evidence for informed decision-making and advocacy at different levels to reduce violence against women, as well as to improve services for women who have experienced violence.

“Gender based violence remains one of the most widespread and persistent human rights violations globally that affects the lives of women and girls across countries and regions. It threatens the security and safety of all. For us at the OSCE, this structural violence is not only a violation of human rights of women and girls but also a security issue,” said the Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Clemens Koja.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who hosted the presentation of the findings, said: “Looking through the OSCE report, one aspect worries me. Only two per cent of the surveyed women who have experienced violence from their current partners reported to the police the most serious incident they have experienced. Violence against women is unacceptable and we need to address this urgently. Our government is committed to the systematic improvement of gender equality and elimination of all forms of violence against women.”

Amarsanaa Darisuren, the OSCE Senior Adviser on Gender Issues, said that no matter the geographic location, level of prosperity or size of the population, violence against women is pervasive in all countries of the world. “There is still a large knowledge gap when it comes to violence against women, and robust and reliable data is needed. This survey provides the information needed to take action. It is now time to take concrete steps to prevent violence against women and girls.” she said.