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Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 

LE2017/ Initiative to be launched to increase number of female mayors in Macedonia

LE2017/ Initiative to be launched to increase number of female mayors in Macedonia

Skopje, 6 October 2017 (MIA) - The club of women members of Macedonia's Parliament, in cooperation with the Parliament's Commission on Equal Opportunities of Women, after the local elections will launch an initiative to raise the number of female mayors.

Gjulumser Kasapi, coordinator of the Women MPs' Club, said that despite some positive results achieved so far - 34% of the lawmakers currently serving are women and 30% of women constitute the municipal councils - the current representation of women mayors and female mayoral hopefuls was 'absolutely unsatisfactory'.

"The Club of Women MPs in cooperation with the parliamentary Commission on Equal Opportunities between Women and Men will launch an initiative to amend the electoral code, under which we hope in the future to raise the number of women running for mayors, thus raising the number of elected female mayors," said Kasapi Friday speaking at a promotion of female candidates running for mayors in the upcoming local elections.

26 women run for mayors in the previous local elections four years ago. Just 15 female candidates are vying to become mayors in this year's local elections, according to Daniela Rangelova, chair of the Commission on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. "It would be hypocritical with only a handful of female candidates to be signing some kind of election declaration, hence we will be launching the initiative on legal changes," she said.

Macedonia since declaring independence in 1991 has had only 22 female ministers with four ministers in the former administration and three in the incumbent government, according to Chris Henshaw, Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Director in Macedonia.

He also referred to the low representation of women in the parties' lists of candidates for mayors noting that no improvements had been made.

"The polls we have conducted show people are much more advanced than the parties are. 59% said they didn't take into account gender representation, 23% said they preferred women with 16% saying they preferred men... It's time for changes in Macedonia. It's time Macedonia come close to Europe... Women want to be part of the big picture. Small parties have become aware, now it's time the larger parties to do the same, too," said Henshaw. ba/16:03

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