On September 10th 2020 at 10:00 the Foundation Kvinna till Kvinna (Kvinna till Kvinna) will organize a presentation of the publication "Where is the money for women's rights? Financing trends in the Western Balkans. " The event will be held online, via the Zoom platform, and will be open to the public.
Although evidence suggests that the contribution of women's civil society organizations (CSOs) is crucial to achieving social change, publicly available information and data on the resources allocated by the EU and other donors to gender equality and, in particular, the CSOs are limited. To fill the gap, Kvinna till Kvinna supported a survey led by the Kosovo Women Network (KWN) conducted by eight WCSOs from the region, including the Autonomous Women’s Center (AWC) and the Association Peščanik. Within this research, the trends of financing gender equality in Serbia and in the Western Balkans in general were analyzed. The report contains recommendations for the EU, member states and other donors that are particularly relevant in the context of the EU accession process. The research was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The research was conducted in 2019 in all six countries of the Western Balkans using a combined methodology, which included a review of the existing literature, data acquisition requests and interviews with 71 donors and 241 WCSOs. The research found that the donor environment in the Western Balkans remains fragmented, with many active donors and mostly poor coordination. The majority of funds received by WCSOs in the period from 2014 to mid-2019 came from multilateral (> 21%) and bilateral organizations (> 24%). Women's funds (11%) and international NGOs (8%) also allocated significant funds to the CSOs, while support from the government (5%), non-women's foundations (5%) and local CSOs (1%) was significantly lower.
Some of the main research findings for Serbia are the following:
- Only 4% of funds received by WCSO sin Serbia come from the government sector
- Despite a significant contribution to social movements, 85% of WCSOs were in a situation where there were not enough funds in a certain period, and 38% were in danger of closure due to lack of funds
- Serbia does not have a comprehensive regulatory framework to make it easier for CSOs to raise funds from individual donors and companies. Although there are some sporadic state grant programs, the state has not yet established sustainable funding for CSOs.
"We closed the organization because we did not have the money for basic things such as utilities, rent and website maintenance." - WSCO, Serbia
Speakers at the event will be: Ola Andersson, Head of the Development Cooperation Department at the Embassy of Sweden; Yngve Engström, Head of the Cooperation Division of the EU Delegation to Serbia; Nicole Farnsworth, Program Director and Principal Researcher, KWN; Marina Ileš, Violence Prevention Project Coordinator, AWC; Amela Bičić, Communications Manager, Roma Center for Women and Children - Daje; and Snežana Jakovljević, Executive Director, Peščanik. The moderator of the event will be Sofija Vrbaški, project coordinator at the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation.
The complete report is also available in English, at the following link: https://kvinnatillkvinna.org/2020/06/01/wheres-the-money-for-womens-rights-2020/.