Gender Equality

Gender equality is one of the essential human rights protected by UN and fundamental value of the European Union. Improvements in gender equality can be achieved both on national and institutional level by involving all actors and providing appropriate actions. Establishment of equal opportunities for women and men in the education and science within a university is a pre-condition for future positioning of equal acting of its students in all spheres of their social life. Applying equal opportunities on different levels, such as in networking and mobility of students and academic staff, as well as, enabling equal participation in research and innovation projects contributes to the improvement of both the education and scientific work and enhance the quality. Equal gender fairness in research and teaching and equality in scientific and research careers, leadership and participation in the bodies is of at most important for creating better and quality working environment and generally for all aspects of function of the university.

Republic of North Macedonia, a small, landlocked country of around 2 million people, is a Candidate country that is striving to become a member of the European Union. According to the data from the State Statistical Office of the Republic of North Macedonia, the percentage distribution of women and men in the total population is almost equal, 49.9% of the population are women, while 50.1% are men.

Republic of North Macedonia regulates the national system of establishment of equal opportunities for women and men, the rights and obligations in ensuring this equality, that is the national legislation and structures for supporting and promoting equal opportunities between women and men on different levels have already been put in place. The main Law regulating the Gender Equality in the Republic of North Macedonia, is the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and the main institution responsible for implementation of this policy is the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy that is currently developing a new National Strategy on Gender Equality  for the period 2021-2026.

In 2011, Republic of North Macedonia has signed the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women (the Istanbul Convention) and ratified the Convention at the end of 2017. The Republic of North Macedonia has also developed a National Action Plan for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention (2018-2023).  

In 2019, Republic of North Macedonia has published its own Gender Equality Index scoring of 62 points. According to the analysis of the European Institute for Gender Equality it sits just below the European Union average of 67.4 points. This places the country in 16th place in comparison with the EU countries. In the domain of power, the country scores better than the European Union. North Macedonia has 52.6 points, compared to the EU average of 51.9. However, significant gender inequalities remain, especially when it comes to income and earnings, and the sharing of household responsibilities .

The Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje (UKIM) is the largest and the oldest state-funded University in the Republic of North Macedonia, funded in 1949. Today, the University is representing a functional community of twenty-three faculties, five research institutes and twelve affiliate institutions. The university is the main Research performer in the country and it brings with itself vast expertise from participation in European projects. Its activities are stipulated by the Law on Higher Education and the Statute of the University.

Articles 16-21 of the Statute of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje already regulate and guarantee the Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusiveness where the protection from discrimination and guarantees for equal opportunities for women and men at the University have been envisaged. The Strategy of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje 2019-2023 envisages the Principle of Equality in teaching and scientific activities and together with the Principle of responsibility and compliance to the highest possible standards, foster active cooperation of UKIM with higher education, scientific and other related institutions in other countries.