Serbia will be the first country outside the EU to build a gender equality index based on the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). EIGE experts investigated the possibilities during an official visit on 14 and 15 October and concluded that it is relevant and technically feasible to construct such an Index in Serbia: Serbia has the appropriate statistical know-how and expertise to do so.

The Gender Equality Index was first launched by EIGE in June 2013 and is a successful tool to measure gender equality in the EU. It provides statistical results in specific areas for the EU overall and for each Member State. In fact it delivers a measure of how far (or close) each Member State (and the EU) is from achieving full gender equality.

“It is a great hope for gender equality that a country preparing for European integration is so dedicated to achieving more gender equality”, confirms Thérèse Murphy, Head of Operations at EIGE and leading the EIGE delegation in Serbia. EIGE hopes that the process is a success that can be an example for the whole region and beyond. Serbia is very dedicated to strengthening its institutional mechanisms towards more gender equality.

The visit was meant to train Serbian experts that will be involved in calculating the Serbian gender equality index. It was introduced by official meetings between the EIGE delegation and government officials, representatives of the national statistics body and of civil society. Highlight of the mission was a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic, who has gender equality in her portfolio. The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that the competent authorities will support the introduction of a gender equality index as a way of analysing the situation in order to monitor progress.