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Second webinar organized by GBWN – Quest for feminist post- COVID-19 recovery

Today, GBWN has organized the second webinar entitled “Quest for feminist post- COVID-19 recovery “at which we gathered more than 80 participants.

The official part of the webinar was opened by Olga Martin Gonzalez who serves as a Gender focal point at DG NEAR in the European Commission. She explained the EU GAP III and its commitment to gender responsive budgeting. She highlighted that the document is composed of five pillars – engagement foe gender equality, strategic EU engagement, six key areas for engagement, EU leads by example and the accountability pillar.

She was followed by Marija Risteska, executive director of the Center for research and policy making and project director of GBWN. Risteska presented the key findings of the monitoring of the fiscal impact of Covid-19 on Women in Western Balkans and Republic of Moldova. She said that serious challenges and pitfalls in meeting the needs of different women and men have been noticed is almost all researched areas – timeliness of response, gender responsiveness of budget (fiscal measures for covid-19 response), transparency of the process of responding to Covid -19, accountability for covid-19 response and its impact on women and the gender impact of Covid-19 fiscal measure.  She also focused on the recommendations for improving the detected situation such as more support for women entrepreneurs, digital platforms and networking in order to have better access to finances, gender criteria for the budget support and recovery packages delivered by EU as a requirement for approving them and etc.

 As a next speaker was presented LauraTurquet  -UN Women Policy advisor and deputy chief Research and data team. She elaborated on the “Feminist plan” for sustainability and social justice. She highlighted that more than 54 mil. women have lost their jobs in the last two years and that the care sector remains to be seriously unpaid. Serious matter is the fact that women remain to be under represented in the task force teams all over the world, so a new social contract is more than needed, based on feminism, social justice and ecology.

 As a last speaker we had Elisabeth Klatzer from Femme Fiscal, Austria who spoke on the Femme Fiscale’s advocacy campaign Mehr fur care. She also reflected on the three main investment packages that would bring some balance in the care sector – future education, the care package and life-saving / solidarity package. Klatzer said that more public money is essential for more personnel, better working conditions, minimum income for those in need, children care and preventing domestic violence. She also said that the pandemic cause serious backsliding in the care sector and criticized the EU recovery plans for being gender blind.

Than a space and time was given for discussion which focused on the need for involving CSOs and women organization in the public dialogue, to shift the lenses on the monitoring to improving the measures and investing in the care sector. In this regard, the Macedonian MP Snezana Kaleska Vanceva highlighted that all this aspects must be mirrored in the upcoming Law on gender equality that is in drafting phase, including the gender responive budgeting component.