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Documenting the Systematic Decline of Women's Rights in Macedonia

Although southeast European countries are progressive in many other ways, the decline of women's reproductive rights in some Western Balkan countries has been a worrying trend. In Macedonia, several small protests have been held in recent years to demonstrate people's opposition to government involvement in determining public sentiment on issues like abortion and family planning, after the government implemented a national anti-abortion campaign that began in 2011.  

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“My body – my decision” sigh at a protest against new abortion law. Photo by Vanco Dzhambaski, CC BY-NC-SA.

Recently, Macedonian equal rights activist Ana Vasileva, known as @Amateuress on Twitter, provided a lengthy overview of the systematic decline of women's rights in Macedonia on her blog:

In recent years Macedonia has undergone a very subtle, yet dreadfully pervasive deterioration of the situation with women's rights. Mainly unnoticed or overlooked, the government latched on the popular, deeply misogynist sentiment of the suffering mother (a metaphor often used for the country itself) and after the initial surge of promise with the introduction of the gender quotas in 2006 and the adoption of the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, which paired with the history of equal treatment from the previous system led to even higher percentages in female representation in certain areas compared to the EU average[1], things started moving downwards steadily, without sufficient public resistance.

It can arguably be claimed that the ploy began with the anti-abortion posters and newspaper ads which started littering the public space out of nowhere circa 2006-2007 without anyone claiming responsibility for them…

  • Karalambro Lubanski

    I am yet to see one positive report on Macedonija written by this fellow Filip. Who the heck is paying him money to constantly distort the facts and write garbage about Macedonija? Enough is enough!

    • Filip Stojanovski

      Dear Mr. Lubanski, or whatever your real name is. Please point out which facts about Macedonia are distorted in the above post. I would be happy to issue a correction and an apology in case any of my articles contain incorrect or distorted information.

    • Chris Rickleton

      I think this fellow Filip is awesome and I enjoy his credible and carefully sourced Macedonia posts )) Keep them coming!

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