Competitiveness of Women Victims of Domestic Violence on Labour Market – Problems and Perspectives

The introduction of equal opportunity policies in achieving economic independence of women is one of the important factors of gender equality. The position of women on the labour market in general is an important topic in achieving the European model of social cohesion which Serbia tends to adopt. Over last decade, there were increased efforts for employing different vulnerable groups of women (regarding their age, disability, nationality, etc). One of these vulnerable groups, which are increasing and which are only partially recognized in national documents is group of women who have experienced domestic violence. Conducted research was combination of desk and field research and it had mainly descriptive character. Individual semi-structured interviews were main activity of field research (with representatives of Centers for Social Work, National Employment Service, NGOs that provide counseling and support services for women victims of violence, employers, women who have experienced violence).

There was also conducted analysis of legal framework in the area of protection and support of women who have suffered domestic/intimate relationship violence. Results are showing that there are no established support measures in employment for women who experienced domestic or intimate relationship violence, but there is enormous institutional and individual need for that. There are some initiatives on local level, but they are no systematic, coherent and timely. Employers showed high level of interest and sensibility in employing this group of women and that is opportunity which relevant national institutions and mechanisms for gender equality should consider and use. Compatibility of national and EU legislation in this area is partial, unsystematic and sometimes contradictory. Conclusion is that group of women who experienced domestic/intimate relationship violence should be legally recognized as special vulnerable group on labour market and that there should be created some affirmative measures for easier entering and successful staying on labour market.

Katarina Jirsa

Professional associate in the Counseling center for legal aid and psycho-social support for women who suffered domestic violence

  • Topic of the paper:Competitiveness of women victims of domestic violence on labour markets - Problems and perspectives
  • Research interests:gender based violence, women's human rights, gender equality policies, psychological support for women who suffered violence