Republic of Macedonia each year celebrates the International Women’s Day – March 8. It is a day that marks the women’s struggle for economic, political and social equality with men. The Eighth March, an International Women’s Day was proclaimed by the United Nations to mark the role of the beloved woman in history, and its struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. Organised demands for gender equality, participation in public life and the same rights and responsibilities with men, for the first time, appeared in the 20th century, by the Socialist Party of America. The symbolism of this holiday should be a recasting of the requirements for improving the working conditions of women and qualitative improvement of their social and political status in society.
This year, International Women’s Day is under the slogan – “Let’s stand up for equality!” It means that all men and women, should commit to take concrete action to achieve gender equality, and that means – to help women and girls realize their ambitions, balanced leadership (both women and men), respecting and valuing diversity, development of inclusive and flexible cultures and eradicating bias towards workplace (women can work “male professions”.) Republic of Macedonia has a significant work in all fields-economic, political, social and health, in order to improve and facilitate every woman in this society. Macedonia successfully monitors and acts according to the following international conventions and declarations:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
- The European Convention on Human Rights
- Convention on the fight against human trafficking and transnational organized crime
- Palermo Protocol – the European Convention of the Council of Europe to combat human trafficking.
Women’s needs in terms of health and health care are recognized and regulated by the national legislation, primarily in the Health care law, the Health Insurance Act to protect the of patients’ rights and the Programs of the Government , especially the National annual Programme for public health, Programme for early detection of cancer, Programme “Health for all”, Programme for active health protection of mothers and children providing activities which promote women’s health, regular attendance of preventive examinations, screening for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer etc.
Institute of Public Health works to improve the health of girls, mothers and women in general, systematic examinations, through implementation of numerous programs, tasks and activities. It prepares and distributes brochures and manuals. Within the health promotion, it tracks and promotes working with Roma women with mediators , and also, the Institute through the Department for the promotion, analysis and monitoring of non-communicable diseases works on coordination and counseling on sexual and reproductive health services and also, a counseling for quitting smoking within 10 Centers for public health.
Besides the activities of state authorities, also NGO’s take part when it comes to women’s rights. Thus, it was formed the “Platform for gender equality” which actually represents an association of citizens who are driven by marginalized position of women in the country. The Platform acts in total six fields, including economy, education, reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, access to services after surviving violence, social policy and women’s participation in politics.