Praxis Watch

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Deficiencies of the Proposal of Law on Equality of Women and Men

Praxis supports the adoption of the Proposal of the Law on Equality of Women and Men at the session held on 2 February 2016 by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

However, we suggest the legislator should consider the solution proposed by the Article 13, Paragraph 1, Item 2, which establishes the obligation of the public authorities performing the works in the area of health and social protection to “organize and implement programmes for overcoming the problems of early pregnancies and intimate cohabitation where at least one person is younger than 16 years of age”.


Specifically, the proposed solution is disputable both in terms of terminology and concept. By opting for the terms “early pregnancy” and “intimate cohabitation” and by setting the age limit below 16 years of age, the Republic of Serbia, deviates, to some extent, from the ratified international standards and undermines the internal consistency of the legal and political framework of the regulation of all specific life situations. Therefore, in order to comply with the defined international standards and ensuring of uniformity and consistency in the internal legal order, it would be advisable to replace the proposed terms "early pregnancy" and "intimate cohabitation" by the terms "teen pregnancy" and "early and child marriages" and set the age of their defining at 18 years. In addition, it would be advisable within the considered Article 13 to add a new paragraph  that would explicitly indicate that culture, customs, religion, tradition or so-called “honour” could not be considered as  justification of these practices.

Also, we express concern over the failure of the submitter of the motion in the Article 26, Item 2, to recognize women and men of different sexual orientation and gender identity as especially vulnerable categories of survivors of domestic violence. 

For more information, see: Praxis Points at Deficiencies of the Proposal of Law on Equality of Women and Men

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