UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Serbia (CEDAW 14-03-2019)

The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Serbia (CEDAW/C/SRB/4) at its 1675th and 1676th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1675 and
CEDAW/C/SR.1676), held on 28 February 2019. The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/SRB/Q/4, and the responses of the State party are contained in CEDAW/C/SRB/Q/4/Add.1.

Concluding observations

E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations


  1. The Committee commends the State party’s efforts to ensure the equality of women and men in the labour market and to combat gender-based discrimination. It welcomes the active employment measures taken with regard to Roma women and women with disabilities. However, the Committee remains concerned about the following:

(a) The persistent gender pay gap and vertical and horizontal occupational segregation in the labour market;

(b) The lower employment rate among women (50.8 per cent) compared with that of men (63.9 per cent);

(c) The high unemployment rates, in particular among Roma women, women with disabilities and rural women, and the higher unemployment rates among young women than among young men;

(d) The unequal sharing of responsibilities between women and men and the lack of opportunities to reconcile work and family obligations, which reduces employment opportunities for women;

(e) The lack of measures to address sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically with regard to young women and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, including the disproportionately low number of convictions for sexual harassment, which adversely affects women’s possibilities for employment and promotion.

  1. The Committee recalls its previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/SRB/CO/2-3, para. 31) and urges the State party:

(a) To ensure that the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, enshrined in the Labour Code, is implemented effectively, including by regularly reviewing wages in traditionally female and male sectors with a view to closing the gender pay gap, and by taking other appropriate measures;

(b) To design, adopt and implement targeted, gender-sensitive and time-bound measures, including temporary special measures: (i) to create more opportunities for women, including young women, Roma women, women with disabilities and rural women; (ii) to enhance women’s access to employment, in particular in higher-paying and male-dominated sectors, including through incentives for public and private sector employers to recruit women; (iii) to implement gender-responsive policies; (iv) to support women entrepreneurs; and (v) to promote a positive image of women in business and professional life in general;

(c) To ensure that unemployed women, including those registered with the National Employment Service, are fully aware of the services available to them;

(d) To introduce flexible working arrangements for both women and men, such as part-time work and telecommuting, extend the provision of childcare facilities and care facilities for other dependents, promote equal sharing of family and domestic responsibilities and responsible fatherhood, including by introducing paid paternal leave, by encouraging fathers to use it and by monitoring the practice;

(e) To ensure access to maternity protection for all working women, including by ensuring regular payment of salary compensation during pregnancy, maternity and childcare leave and by facilitating the return to work for young mothers, in particular by maintaining adequate financial support;

(f) To undertake a comprehensive survey to assess the prevalence of sexual harassment at the workplace; encourage reporting of sexual harassment at the workplace and raise public awareness of its discriminatory nature, its negative impact on women’s employment and potential sanctions; strengthen the mechanism to address cases of sexual harassment effectively, including in court; and collect statistics, disaggregated by age, origin, geographical area and relationship with the perpetrator, on the number and nature of complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace in the public and private sectors.

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