On September 25, AmCham Macedonia in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute in North Macedonia marked the Week of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality by leading the conversation on women’s economic empowerment. Local and foreign experts discussed the situation on the ground and global best practices and offered practical mechanisms to address gender-based issues in the country. The key remarks that emerged from the discussion were raising awareness among policymakers about the relevant gender aspects of different policy areas, such as employment, gender budgeting, dividing parental leave, flexible working hours, consistency in policies, and cooperation between different stakeholders in the society especially in the rural areas, as well as applying good practices and examples from other economies.
U.S. Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes spoke about the US government initiative to advance global women’s economic empowerment through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Liljana Zaturoska, Member of the Parliament of North Macedonia presented the Strategy for Strengthening Women’s Economic Power which will focus on increased participation of women in the labor market, gender budgeting, and better realization of employment rights. Sneshka Ilikj, a researcher from Reactor, spoke about the preliminary findings from Reactor’s research of gender discrimination and labor rights in the country. Private sector representatives spoke of the measures and initiatives to attract more women in the workplace, especially in traditionally male industries, and Jovana Trencevska, State Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy presented active employment measures targeted to women.
AmCham, along with its members and partners, continues to work towards the equal participation of women in the labor market because investing in women has a multiplier effect – they reinvest their incomes in their families and communities while contributing to the greater prosperity of the whole society.