“We are conveying the message, whether it is about persons in the Ministry or the Army, whether it is men or women, that harassment in the workplace is not an acceptable part of the work discipline, it is not an acceptable part of the work routine”, Defense Minister Radmila Shekerinska said at today’s promotion of the Guidelines and Manual for Protection against Workplace Harassment and the certification of 35 Gender Representatives in the Ministry and the Army.
The 35 gender representatives are advisors who will be available to the entire personnel in the Ministry and the Army. There will be a gender representative in the Cabinet of the Minister, a gender representative in the Cabinet of the Chief of General Staff, as well as in all Army units and all organizational units of the Ministry.
“Gender advisors will be the first contact, the first aid to all those who have encountered harassment and want to report it and get help. Thus, we will show that harassment is not part of and must not be part of work habits, work culture and we will create an environment in which men and women will feel comfortable and efficient and productive “the Minister said.
The event is also included in the global campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Girls”, featuring portraits of our historical heroines in the Ministry Hall. “The portraits of these historical heroines show that the Macedonian woman was accepted as a partner in war. We have no justification today in peace to have any doubts whatsoever as to her ability and her opportunity to contribute to her state” Minister Shekerinska concluded.
Chief of General Staff, General Gjurchinovski added that the Army General Staff has a clear approach to this area and is taking concrete measures at all command levels in the Army.
“A gender advisor will soon be appointed to the Chief of Staff. The approach is zero tolerance for harassment in the workplace, absolutely clear and loud transparency in the functionality of the Army, to make everyone feel dignified, proud in the workplace in terms of the treatment of females in the Army ” General Gjurchinovski said.
The Guidelines and Manual for protection against violence and workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, were developed in co-operation with the UN WOMEN Office in Skopje.