Kick_off_meetingThe aim of the 3-years project titled: “Do not keep calm! – End violence against women” implemented in rural areas in Skopje (Shuto Orizari, Aracinovo, Ljubanci and Saraj) and in Resen community (villages Nakolec, Stenje and Ljubojno) is to improve prevention of violence against women and girls (VAW/G) though changes in behaviour, practices and attitudes.

The project will be implemented from January 2017 to January 2020, and is implemented with the financial support from the Women’s World Day of Prayer – German Committee.

The project will be directed towards education institutions (primary and high schools), rural communities, youth and other community leaders, as well as empowering the victims of domestic violence through new skills for start-up of innovative small businesses.

The forms and manifestation(s) of violence against women that will be addressed by the project are: 1) Violence at home; 2) Violence in schools; 3) Violence in the workplace and 4) Violence in public spaces, which is in line with the goals of the UN Trust Fund. The project consists of 3 main components and several activities in each of them.

The prevalence of domestic violence in Macedonia is well-known despite the government’s failure to publicly recognize the extent of the problem and the lack of official statistics documenting the frequency of its occurrence.  Domestic violence is not a common subject of public discussion in Macedonia. Those people who work directly with victims of domestic violence report that the problem is widespread and that it affects all ethnic groups and classes of people. The state has not established mechanisms to encourage the reporting of incidents of domestic violence to government authorities. In addition, strong social pressures keep the problem of domestic violence within the family. Cultural norms in Macedonia discourage the reporting of domestic violence as a “private, family matter.”  The lack of shelters and other social services provides little incentive for women to discuss their problems publicly.

Despite these societal values, we as women’s organizations we are working to provide services to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence and to change public policy to provide greater protections and socialization to these women.  In the past few years, women activists have successfully increased the public dialogue about domestic violence. These activists have been successful at gathering resources to study the issue and at focusing media attention on the problem. These efforts are essential to addressing the problem effectively. Despite the recent successes of local women’s organizations, government officials and society in general continue to deny the existence of domestic violence. The hidden nature of the problem and lack of public dialogue allow officials to ignore the problem and to avoid responding effectively to these crimes.

In Macedonia since the independence, that is more than 20 years an epidemic of domestic violence. According to the last official information from the Ministry of social affaire every third women in Macedonia is victim of domestic violence, but every 5-th women is victim of armed violence. The biggest number of women is unemployed, marginalised and fighting to survive, often with 2 or more children. The history or tradition of violence come from home, that in some rural area the children and girl believe that living with perpetrators at home is normal.

Our target will be to educate, protect and empower girl and women victim of domestic violence in communities in Macedonia. The project will contribute through process of education the problem of domestic violence to be recognizable and the victim will know to recognize the perpetrators; protects herself and her children; know whom to inform about the violence and know her rights; be empowered as a victim of violence to start-up a small business and as a trained woman will train other women victims of domestic violence.

The Project is implemented with the financial support from
the Women’s World Day of Prayer – German Committee.