On April 24, the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence organized a women’s convention titled “I vote for women” with the support of the Embassy of Finland in Serbia, Belgrade Youth Center (Dom omladine) that provided the venue, and Mreza Production Group.
The Convention was aimed at raising awareness of the general public during the campaign for the upcoming elections about the importance of greater participation of women in politics, and also of the significance of gender equality for general development of society and institutions. The event increased the visibility of the women running for parliamentary seats, thus surely contributing to more women voting in the upcoming elections.
After the keynote speech from professor Mirjana Pajvančić who spoke about the importance of such events for our society and the need to endow further struggle of women for equality, eleven women candidates representing eleven different electoral lists took turns in offering a personal point of view about the position of women and their platforms for improving this position in the future. The order of the candidates’ presentations was determined by lot and was as follows:
Jadranka Beljan Balaban (United Regions of Serbia - Mlađan Dinkić)
Ifeta Radončić (Party of Democratic Action of Sandžak - dr Sulejman Ugljanin)
Maja Volk (Reformist Party - Milan Višnjić)
Sanja Dražić (Movement of Workers and Peasants)
Milica Radović (Democratic Party of Serbia - Vojislav Koštunica)
Judita Popović (Čedomir Jovanović - coalition Turnover)
Dijana Vukomanović (Ivica Dačić: SPS-PUPS-US)
Danica Grujičić (Social Democratic Alliance - Nebojša Leković)
Elvira Kovač (Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians - Ištvan Pastor)
Stana Božović (Let’s Get Serbia Moving - Tomislav Nikolić)
Jelena Trivan (Choice for a Better Life - Boris Tadić)
Presentations of each of the candidates were coupled with a display of her photo and a short biography on the main screen. Their messages included different proposed solutions for particular issues that women face, but also a clear call for stronger cooperation and solidarity among women from the different parties was heard. In between the presentations, the audience watched short movies about the history of the women’s movement and the many diverse roles women play in society. The presentations were followed by a performance by the Aleksis Pearls string quartet. Mrs. Sonja Licht gave the closing speech in which she reminded us of the crucial importance of support, mutual respect and cooperation among women in politics for the empowering and development of our society.
More than 200 people attended the Convention, which sparked plenty of interest in the media.