Policy area

Gender equality

Sustainable development goals and international commitments

Key international documents in the area of gender equality

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women  (CEDAW) – the first comprehensive international document covering gender equality obligates countries to remove all forms of discrimination against women;

Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action – signatories undertake to pursue gender equality in the public and private life and participation in political and economic decision-making;

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence – the first European legally binding agreement defining the concept of gender-based violence and obligates to address the issue systematically;

Security Council Resolution UN 1325 – Women, Peace and Security – The UN Security Council encourages state parties to increase, by adopting national action plans, the participation of women in peace-building and preservation efforts and in conflict resolution, and to ensure better protection of women and girls against violence.

Gender equality in sustainable development goals by 2030

SDG 5 – Gender equality – End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, ensure equal participation in leadership and decision-making, establish gender equality and empower women at all levels through policies and legislation;

SDG 1 – Zero hunger – ensure that all men and women have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property (1.4.);

SDG 4 – Quality education – eliminate gender inequality in education (4.1., 4.2., 4.3., 4.5.);

SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth – achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men and equal pay for work of equal value (8.5.);

SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities – ensure social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of sex (10.2.)

Gender equality in the National Sustainable Development Strategy by 2030

The National Sustainable Development Strategy by 2030, which nationalises the sustainable development goals of the Agenda 2030 in Montenegro, singles out as the most significant problems in Montenegrin society inadequate practical application of the Gender Equality Law, limited participation of women in decision-making positions and the presence of the traditional gender roles. This document, in line with SDG 5elimination of gender discrimination is recognised as a specific measure, which implies the elimination of all legal, social and economic barriers to economic empowerment.

Montenegro undertook, within the framework of the strategic goal 2.1 – Stimulate active relationship between key actors and development sustainability, to focus on the following:

Measure 2.1.1 – Ensure prerequisites for healthy development of individuals within their families (combat domestic violence, eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls) – targets by 2030 include:

  • Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, informing and education, as well as integration of reproductive health in national strategies and programmes ensured;
  • All forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking in human beings and sexual and other forms of abuse, as well as child, early and forced marriage eliminated;
  • All forms of violence, especially domestic violence and related mortality rates significantly reduced;

Measure 2.1.2 – Eliminate gender discrimination – targets by 2030:

  • Political, economic and any other gender-based discrimination eliminated;
  • Minimum 40% in political decision-making bodies at the national and local levels;
  • All forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking in human beings and sexual and other forms of violence eliminated;
  • Gender-balanced participation in unpaid work;
  • Gender-balanced participation in unemployment;
  • The national gender equality mechanism strengthened.
EU acquis chapters

Obligations in the EU accession process

An overview of obligations from negotiation chapters

Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the European Union, and as such transpires through all negotiation chapters. To that effect, one of the important directions for actions of the Secretariat General of the Government is to guide line ministries towards gendering the goals and indicators contained in their strategy documents for every EU Acquis chapter.

Specific measures promoting this policy are contained in chapters 19 and 23.

Chapter 19 – Social policy and employment

Closing benchmark – Montenegro amends the laws on non-discrimination and equality between women and men in employment and social policy in order to align its legislation in these fields with the acquis

Chapter 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights

Interim benchmark for fundamental rights – Montenegro continues to implement the Strategy for the Protection against Domestic Violence, including raising awareness on preventing domestic violence and providing the necessary protection to victims

Recommendation 3.6.B within the Action Plan for Chapter 23 – Take concrete steps to ensure practical implementation of gender equality in practice, including through strengthening of the monitoring bodies and more effective reactions of the law enforcement bodies to possible violations, as well as through better awareness raising and support measures, especially on employment and public representation of women

Within the EU context, the key role is played by the European Institute for Gender Equality, which developed the EIGE Gender Equality Index for tracking progress in the gender policy in the EU Member States. The index includes 6 key areas (work, money, knowledge, time, health), and 2 additional ones (violence against women and intersecting inequalities), and via 31 indicators has an insight into what areas are most problematic and where the progress is most prominent.

An outline of the EU strategic framework

Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 – The key objectives are ending gender-based violence; challenging gender stereotypes; closing gender gaps in the labour market; achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy; addressing pay and pension gender gaps; closing the gender gap in the care economy and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics

European Pact for Gender Equality 2011-2020 – It emphasises the importance of using women’s untapped potential in the labour market and includes the measures to close the gender gap and segregation on the labour market; measures to promote better work–life balance for both women and men; measures to combat all forms of violence against women.

International indicators

EIGE Gender Equality index

Work, money, knowledge, time, power, heath, violence

SDG Gender index

Gender equality status in 14 out of 17 SDGs

WE Forum Gender gap Index

Economic participation, education levels, health and survival, political empowerment

OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

Discrimination within family, limited physical integrity, limited access to economic resources, limited civil liberties

UN Gender Inequality Index

Health, empowerment and labour market

Montenegro's strategic framework

Current strategy papers

Gender equality policy in Montenegro’s strategic framework

As regards gender equality, the areas in focus of the Montenegrin strategic planning system include better position of women in the labour market, greater participation of women in public and political life and prevention of domestic violence.

In accordance with the goals set in overarching documents, primarily the NSDS by 2030, the Medium-term Government Work Programme 2018-2020 focuses on:

  • Improved women entrepreneurship and greater inclusion of women in the labour market through targeted support programmes
  • Antidiscrimination and increased participation of women in political and other decision-making
  • Protection against all forms of violence

The key links in implementing the gender equality policy are the Gender Equality Law and the Plan of Action for Achieving Gender Equality 2017-2021based on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Out of the 12 areas covered by the declaration, the Plan of Action for Gender Equality includes the following: enhanced women human rights and gender equality; gender sensitive education; gender equality in economy; gender sensitive healthcare; gender-based violence; gender equality in the media, culture and sport; equality in decision-making in political and public life; and institutional mechanisms for gender equality and international cooperation.

In 2020 Montenegro established the gender equality index in line with the methodology used by EIGE. The index value for Montenegro is 55 out of 100, which is much lower compared to the mean value in the EU (67.4).  Based on the parameters that the index relies on, greatest inequality was established in the domain of money (MNE 59.7 – EU 80,4) and power (MNE 35.1 – EU 51.9), and the least as regards work (MNE 65.2 – EU 72) and health (MNE 86.9 – EU 88,1).

The main challenges[1] that will shape future policy include: limited impact of the gender equality legislative framework; unemployed women outnumbering unemployed men; unequal rights over economic resources and various forms of ownership; participation of women in the parliament is below the threshold of 30%; violence is still seen as a family and a private problem (according to an UNDP survey 92% of respondents believe that domestic violence is quite present, and 1 out of 4 respondents believe violence is justified).

[1] Montenegro’s Report on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action and Sustainable Development Agenda for 2019

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