MISSION, GOALS AND KEY ACTIVITIES
Akcija Zdruzenska is a non-profit organization established in July 2004 within the framework of the strategic transformation of Women’s Programme of the Foundation Open Society Institute – Macedonia. The work of the organization is based upon extensive experience in developing and implementing programmes for promotion of gender equality and women’s rights.
The mission of Akcija Zdruzhenska is to contribute to the advancement of gender equality, by advocating the development and implementation of public policies for achieving equal opportunities for women and men, social inclusion and respect women’s human rights. The organization has been determined to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities for identifying and addressing the specific needs of Macedonia in light of gender equality.
Founders and members of “Akcija Zdruzenska” are activists with broad knowledge of the situation of women NGO scene and developed capacities and skills in addressing the specific needs for their development into an influential movement. They come from different walks of life and various ethnic backgrounds and serve as key resource of Akcija Zdruzenska for implementing activities on the local community level.
Akcija Zdruzenska and its membership have adopted a number of principles that guide the organization such as: professionalism, accountability, solidarity, equal opportunities, transparency and cooperation.
MAIN GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION:
- Promotion of culture of gender equality and non-discrimination;
- Promotion of responsible, transparent, and accountable governance in the area of gender equality and women’s rights;
- Strengthening and support of women’s activism;
- Building capacities and intensifying the public debate, dialogue and collaboration concerning the issues of gender equality and women’s rights
Key Activities of the organization have been designed to ensure that appropriate legal frameworks on gender equality and protection of women’s rights are put in place and fully enforced; and to empower women’s activists to hold governments accountable.
- Collecting data, implementing and publishing gender analyses and research;
- Developing and delivering training programmes, consultancy and providing information;
- Publishing bulletins, brochures and other kinds of literature pertaining to gender issues and women’s rights;
- Organizing public events and campaigns;
- Cooperation with other relevant national and international organizations and institutions.
STATEMENT OF NEED FOR THE ORGANIZATION’S WORK
Akcija Zdruzenska fills up the space between the grass root activism, which is facing up a shortage of capacities and expertise, and the academy that addresses the gender issue on the level of theoretical concepts only without engaging into a sufficient consideration of the daily reality and implementation of these concepts in practice.
ORGANIZATION’S MAIN TARGET GROUPS
Local and central governments
Women activists, especially those active on a local community level
National and international human rights nongovernmental organizations
The international community representatives in Macedonia
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE PREVIOUS WORK
Over the past 10 years, the organization managed to position itself among the leading civil society organizations in Macedonia in promoting gender equality, as a result of a significant efforts put in the: Continuous strengthening and support of women’s activism, especially on a local community level in order to increase the knowledge and skills of the women activists to influence institutional solutions to the problems related to gender inequality in their communities; Producing studies, situation analyses and developing recommendations for improving the policies related to gender equality and women’s human rights on both local and national level in order to address the lack of analytical data, and to develop and provide an implementing and advocacy tools for positive changes in the policies, legislation and practices in these areas; Increasing gender awareness and capacities of relevant institutions/organizations (NGOs, local government officials, public institutions representatives and the wider public) and intensifying dialogue and cooperation concerning gender issues between women’s groups and other relevant stakeholders; Developing collaboration on a partnership basis with relevant institutions in establishing mechanisms and practices for more effective implementation of the existing legislation; Participating in the regional and global initiatives of women’s activism in order to connect, exchange information and experiences and discuss possible strategies in advancing women’s human rights and gender equality.
The participatory approach and continuous involvement of the target groups in planning and implementation of the activities contributed to establishment of close linkages, cooperation and partnership with the local women’s activism and relevant NGOs active at national and international level, as well as with relevant institution on both local and national level.
The organization implemented various capacity building programs with local activists and municipality administration; analyzed the gender aspects of the decentralization process, monitored EU approximation process by analyzing to what extend the legislation and practice are in compliance with the directives on equal opportunities for women and men, assessed the implementation of the provisions on domestic violence prescribed within the Family Law and Criminal code, advocated for legislation changes and developed proceedings for the actors of the systems for protection of domestic violence etc. It has also continuously monitored the progress in the development and implementation of the specific gender equality legislation and policies on central and local level, and, based on the findings, successfully advocated integration of legislative and policy proposals into the Law on Equal opportunities for women and men, the Strategy and Action plan for Gender Equality.