Belgrade, May 30th 2017: After only ten days since we submitted 8.000 signatures to the vice-president of Government of Serbia and president of Coordination Body for Gender Equality, Zorana Mihajlovic, the Government of Republic of Serbia has declared May 18th as the Remembrance Day for Murdered Women Victims of Violence.

During the past 6 months, petition was supported by members of women victims of femicide, members of Government of Republic of Serbia, MPs, as well as, aldermen/women from local authorities, mayors, members of independent state institutions, unions.  At the greatest extent, petition was supported by women from 25 cities and municipalities with the assistance of 32 civil society organizations.

Besides submitting the petition, the Network asked for establishment of Supervising Committee for monitoring femicide at the national level, which would than, publish a report containing the statistical data on the number, age and sex of victim and the killer, relationship between them, as well the information about penalties and sanctions for the killer. The task of this Supervising Committee would be to gather, analyze and check the data on the national level, and define measures towards preventing femicide. Each femicide needs to be thoroughly analyzed in order to identify omissions in protection, towards improving and developing the measures of prevention.

Women against Violence Network will also renew the request to the City of Belgrade for setting up a memorial dedicated to women victims of violence in the center of Belgrade (at the bus station across the Central military club of Serbia, a place, where in 2006, a brother in law murdered his sister in law)[1]. We remind that in December 2012, Commission for monuments and names of streets and squares within the Belgrade City Assembly, rejected Network’s proposal with the rationale that the spot we requested for the memorial is far from violence against women, regardless of the fact that one woman was murdered at this very place, by a male family member.[2]

We believe that the response of the Commission will be positive this time and that we will manage to setup a real memorial stone for women victims of male violence on May 18th 2018, and not only a symbolical one like in 2012.

On behalf of Women against Violence Network
Aleksandra Nestorov and Vedrana Lacmanovic

[1] News about femicide available at: : Glas javnosti: Stradala zbog starateljstva
[2] Response from the Commission for monuments and names of squares and streets with the Belgrade City Hall, to Network’s request available at: HERE