Održana konferencija „Demokratija za sve: političko učešće LGBTI osoba na Zapadnom Balkanu“

Kategorija: Democracy for all: Political Participation of LGBTI Persons in the Western Balkans / Datum: septembar 25, 2015

SRB

Konferencija okupila 16. i 17. septembra blizu 130 učesnika/ca iz zemalja Zapadnog Balkana, Evrope, Sjedinjenih Američkih država, i 69 učesnika/ca na sastanku 15. septembra u Domu Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije


Najčešće tvitovan komentar: „Tolerancija nije cilj. Poštovanje je cilj!“

Labris – organizacija za lezbejska ljudska prava, zajedno sa partnerskim organizacijama iz Sjedinjenih Američkih država i Nemačke, Gej i lezbejskim Viktori institutom iHiršfeld Edi fondacijom, a uz finansijsku podršku USAID, Astrea i Ministarstva spoljnih poslova Nemačke, organizovala je 15, 16. i 17. septembra u Beogradu, konferenciju „Demokratija za sve: Političko učešće LGBTI osoba na Zapadnom Balkanu“.

Otvoreni poziv

Konferencija sa temom političkog učešća LGBTI osoba na Zapadnom Balkanu, koja je održana u Narodnoj skupštini Republike Srbije 15. septembra a zatim i u beogradskom hotelu 88 rooms 16. i 17. septembra, čini krunu jednogodišnjeg projekta Labrisa (uz saradnju sa Gej i lezbejskim Viktori institutom i NDI) koji je realizovan tokom 2014. godine a tokom koga su 22 autovane LGBTI osobe iz Srbije, Bosne i Hercegovine, Albanije, Makedonije, Crne Gore i sa Kosova, prošle trening za političko liderstvo, čime su stekle osnovno iskustvo o političkom aktivizmu ali i o načinu na koji sa stanovišta političkog angažovanja mogu uticati na celokupne društvene tokove.

Sastanku u Domu Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije, prisustvovali su osim aktivista/tkinja civilnog sektora, predstavnika/ca ambasada i nezavisnih institucija na lokalnom i republičkom nivou, poslanici/ce iz Albanije, Srbije i Irske, kao i predstavnik Vlade Crne Gore, dok su poslanici/ce iz Slovenije, Crne Gore i Makedonije, uzeli aktivno učešće na panelima tokom konferencije.

Ovo je bio prvi put da u jednoj zemlji na prostoru Zapadnog Balkana, LGBTI aktivisti/tkinje zajedno sa donosiocima odluka razgovaraju o većem stepenu participacije nedovoljno zastupljenih grupa, među kojima je svakako i LGBTI zajednica.

Jedan od ciljeva ovog sastanka i čitave konferencije, bilo je i povezivanje narodnih poslanika/ca iz zemalja Zapadnog Balkana sa kolegama/cama iz zemalja EU kako bi se razmenile ideje o njihovoj ulozi na promociji ljudskih prava LGBTI osoba i unapređenju ravnopravnosti ove manjinske grupe.

Ispred Odbora za ljudska i manjinska prava i ravnopravnost polova Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije govorila je narodna poslanica Ljiljana Malušić koja je istakla da postoji napredak u pogledu političke podrške pravima LGBTI osoba kako na nivou Vlade tako i na nivou Narodne skupštine. Poslanica Malušić je ukazala na niz aktivnosti koje je Odbor preuzeo, istakavši na prvo mesto organizaciju predstavljanja godišnjeg izveštaja o položaju LGBTI populacije kao i zajedničko predstavljanje predloga javnih politika za poboljšanje položaja LGBTI zajednice u Srbiji, dodavši da će Odbor nastaviti još intenzivnije da se bavi pitanjima zaštite prava LGBTI populacije.

Prisutnima se obratio i poslanik Džeri Butimer (Jerry Buttimer) iz Irske, koji je izrazio je zadovoljstvo što je pozvan da učestvuje na ovom skupu i dodao da se moraju naći mehanizmi za suprotstavljanje stereotipima u cilju postizanja pune ravnopravnosti u društvu.

Među govornicima je bio i regionalni direktor Nacionalnog demokratskog instituta za Centralnu i Istočnu Evropu, Robert Bendžamin (Robert Benjamin) iz SAD i dugogodišnji poslanik nemačkog Bundestaga Majkl Kauh (Michael Kauch) kao i savetnik crnogorskog premijera, Jovan Kojičić, koji je pozdravio ovu inicijativu parlamenta Republike Srbije, najavio sličnu inicijativu u Crnoj Gori, istakavši značaj obrazovanja kao jedan od glavnih instrumenata za borbu protiv društvenih stereotipa.

Predstavnik NDI (Nacionalni Demokratski Institut), Marko Ivković, predstavio je regionalno istraživanje javnog mnjenja o stavovima prema LGBTI osobama u regionu i o tome kako stavovi utiču na političku participaciju, nakon čega je bila otvorena diskusija o tome koliko su političke partije spremne da podrže prava LGBTI osoba. Jedan od zaključaka regionalnog istraživanja jeste da će veća vidljivost LGBTI osoba doprineti većem razumevanju od strane opšte populacije i da će ta vidljivost posledično voditi većoj pravnoj i socijalnoj jednakosti. Još jedan značajan podatak istraživanja jeste činjena da podrška pravima LGBTI osoba, konkretno paradi ponosa, ne utiče na popularnost političkih stranaka.

U Domu Narodne skupštine se razgovaralo o problemima sa kojima se susreću LGBTI osobe u zemljama Zapadnog Balkana, kao i o prevenciji i unapređivanju mehanizama kojima bi se suzbila homofobija. Takođe ovo je bila veoma dobra prilika da se razmene iskustva parlamenta iz regiona, da se razgovara o političkim pravima LGBTI osoba i da se zajedničkim snagama dođe do rešenja koje će poboljšati status ove marginalizovane društvene grupe.

Konferenciju su otvorili ambasador Nemačke u Beogradu, Aksel Ditman i otpravnik poslova ambasade Sjedinjenih američkih država u Beogradu, Gordon Duguid.

Tokom naredna dva konferencijska danasu se mogli čuti argumenti koji govore o tome koje su pozitivne strane koje dobija čitavo društvo od pluralizacije političkog prostora kao i o tome koje su najbolje prakse u procesima demokratskog učešća i zaštite ljudskih prava LGBTI osoba na Balkanu.

Konferenciji se pridružilo više muških govornika, te je generalni zaključak da je potrebno više žena u politici a svakako i da je neophodno da LGBTI zajednica ima svoje predstavnike/ce u parlamentu.

Na panel diskusiji gde se razgovaralo o učešću transrodnih/transseksualnih osoba u političkom životu, učesnici/ce su zaključili da veća vidljivost trans osoba vodi ka većem stepenu razumevanja potreba ove zajednice kao i tome da se pitanja važna za trans zajednicu nađu na agendi na svim nivoima vlasti.

Na ovom zadatku, kao i na integraciji trans zajednice u političkom i socijalnom smislu, čitava LGBTI zajednica mora raditi zajedno. Neophodno je i važno razumevanje i poštovanje koje se ogleda u korišćenju gramatički ispravnih rodova, imena, rodnih identiteta, kao i u jasnoj podršci žrtvama nasilja i diskriminacije.

Veliko interesovanje izazvao je panel “Lezbejke i političko liderstvo: Uloga lezbejki u promociji ravnopravnosti” koji je pokazao da su svi metodi za političko napredovanje lezbejki važni kao i da su sa jedne strane još uvek sve države homofobične, počevši od Slovenije, iako je u toj istoj zemlji jedna od lezbejki aktivistkinja, Nataša Sukič, prošle godine izabrana za odbornicu u gradskom veću Ljubljane.

Na tribini je bilo jasno da su sve metode političkog rada potrebne u isto vreme – i da jedne lobiraju institucije i partije a druge su na ulici. Jasno je da posle 20 godina lezbejskog pokreta u regionu ima raznih vrsta političkog aktivizma za osnaživanje lezbejki.

Aktivistkinja iz Sarajeva, Emina Bošnjak, govorila je o sistemskim preprekama u Bosni i Hercegovini zbog 16 nivoa vlasti, i o tome da one generalno rade lobiranja na nivou kantona, Zorica Mršević je govorila o suštinskom značaju feminističkih vrednosti u političkom aktivizmu lezbejki, a aktivistkinja iz Turske, Sedef Čakmak je rekla da je jedina lezbejka u politici, a da su ostale LGBT – trans osobe.

Tanja Domi, lezbejka aktivistkinja i profesorka je govorila o tome koliko ceni lezbejke na Balkanu, kojima je pružila veliku podršku, i rekla da ona lično aktivna i u GetEqual, i na fakultetu, i kroz podršku medijskoj kampanji Hilari Klinton.

U diskusiji nakon izlaganja panelistkinja bilo je reči o romskom lezbejskom aktivizmu, i kako skoro sve Romkinje u regionu oko Novog Bečeja bivaju seksualno zlostavljane u ranim godinama kroz takozvane rane brakove. Neke od njih kreću da osveštavaju svoju seksualnost tek u 30tim godinama, kada imaju decu i počinju da odlaze od nasilnih muževa, a neke tada počinju da se zaljubljuju u žene. Aktivistinja Ženskog prostora, Vera Kurtić, informisala je prisutne o feminističkoj letnjoj školi koju ova organizacija organizuje svake godine i istakla je da se romski LGBT aktivizam povezuje sa raznim akcijama u Evropi.

Poslednjeg konferencijskog dana, učesnici/ce su se posvetili razvoju liderskih veština kroz učešće na jednom od tri paralelna poludnevna treninga: Tehnike javnog zagovaranja i lobiranja koje je vodio Nebojša Andrić, trener NDI (Nacionalni Demokratski Institut) iz Srbije; Proces kandidovanja i vođenja političke kampanje, koji je vodila Kristina Vilfor iz Turske (Stručnjakinja za kampanje, izbore i razvoj građanskog zastupanja i veće učešće žena u politici); Korišćenje društvenih mreža u političkom aktivizmu koje su vodili marketing stručnjaci iz agencije Pin consulting, bivši polaznici prošlogodišnjeg treninga političkog liderstva, Aleksandar Savić i Stefan Šparavalo.

Učesnici/ce su konferenciju koristili ne samo za učešće na panel diskusijama, plenarnim sesijama i treninzima, već i za izgradnju mreža koje će im pomoći da rade na jačanju demokratskog učešća i ljudskih prava LGBTI populacije u svojim zemljama, za međusobno upoznavanje sa donosiocima odluka, razmenu ideja i projektnih predloga. Konferencija „Demokratija za sve: Političko učešće LGBTI osoba na Zapadnom Balkanu“ stvorila je prostor za razmišljanje, dijalog i razmenu iskustva za LGBTI liderima, saveznicima i PR stručnjacima iz Srbije, Turske, Francuske.

Konferencija je izazvala veliku pažnju kako predstavnika stranih ambasada i međunarodnih institucija sa kojima Labris ima dugogodišnju uspešnu saradnju, tako i domaćih nezavisnih tela kao što je Republički zaštitnik građana i Poverenik za zaštitu ravnopravnosti kao i Ombudsman Kragujevca čiji su predstavnici prisustvovali konferenciji u velikom broju.

Još jedan događaj koji je održan 15. septembra u prostoru Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije, a koji je gotovo istorijski za LGBTI pokret na Zapadnom Balkanu, jeste održavanje osnivačke skupštine regionalne LGBTI asocijacije ERA– LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey, koja okuplja blizu 30 LGBTI organizacija i koja će postati krovna LGBTI asocijacija na Balkanu.

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Conference „Democracy for All: Political Participation of LGBTI Persons in the Western Balkans“ finished successfully, by bringing together almost 130 participants on September 16 and 17 from the Western Balkan countries, Europe, the United States of America, as well as 69 participants at a meeting at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia


The most commented tweet: „Tolerance is not the goal. Respect is!“

Labris –Lesbian Human Rights organization, partnered with organizations from the United States and Germany, Gay and lesbian Victory Institute and Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, with financial support from USAID, Astrea and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized on the 15th, 16th and 17th of September in Belgrade, the Conference „Democracy for All: Political Participation of LGBTI Persons in the Western Balkans“.

Otvoreni poziv

The conference regarded the subject of political participation of LGBTI people in the Western Balkans, that was held in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on September 15, followed by two days of panel discussions and plenary sessions in Hotel 88 Rooms on September 16 and 17. This marks the completion of the one-year project of Labris (in cooperation with the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute and NDI), which was implemented in 2014 and during which 22 openly out LGBT persons in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and from Kosovo, completed a training for political leadership. They acquired experience in political activism but also learned about possibilities to affect social changes through various forms of political activism.

The meeting at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia was attended by the civil society activists, embassy representatives and representatives of the independent institutions at the local and national level, also by MPs from Albania, Serbia and Ireland, as well as a representative of the Government of Montenegro. MPs from Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia, also actively participated in panels during the conference.

This was the first time that in any country in the Western Balkans, LGBTI activists sat down together with decision-makers to talk about a greater participation of underrepresented groups, among which is certainly the LGBTI community.

One of the goals of this meeting was to connect MPs from the Western Balkan countries to MP s from EU countries in order to exchange ideas about their role in the promotion of human rights of LGBTI people and the advancement of equality of minority groups.

On behalf of the Committee for Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Deputy President Ljiljana Malušić, addressed the audience and pointed out that there is not only progress in terms of political support for LGBTI rights at government level but also parliamentarian level. Malušić pointed to the range of activities that the Committee undertook, pointing first to the annual report on the situation of LGBTI people as well as the joint representation of public policy proposals for improving the situation of the LGBT community in Serbia, adding that the Committee would continue even more intensively to address issues protect the rights of LGBTI people.

All attendees of the Pre-conference were addressed by Irish MP, Jerry Butimer, who expressed satisfaction for being invited to participate in this meeting and added that we must find mechanisms to counter stereotypes in order to achieve full equality in society.

Among the speakers was the Regional Director of the National Democratic Institute for Central and Eastern Europe, Robert Benjamin from the USA, a longtime MP of German Bundestag, Michael Kauch, and adviser to the Montenegrin prime minister, Jovan Kojicic, who welcomed this initiative of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, and announced a similar initiative in Montenegrin Parliament stressing the importance of education as one of the main tools for combating social stereotypes.

The NDI (National Democratic Institute) representative Marko Ivkovic, presented the regional public opinion survey on attitudes towards LGBTI persons in the region and how attitudes influence political participation, after which there was the debate about how the political parties are ready to support LGBT rights. One of the conclusions of regional studies is that the greater visibility of LGBTI people contributes to greater understanding by the general population and that this visibility consequently leads to greater legal and social equality. Another important piece of data of the research showed that supporting the rights of LGBTI people, particularlythe Pride Parade does not affect the popularity of political parties.

Issues discussed in the National Assembly varied from everyday problems faced by LGBTI persons in the Western Balkans, to prevention and improvement of mechanisms to combat homophobia. This Pre-conference meeting was also a very good opportunity for parliaments from the region to exchange experiences, to discuss the political rights of LGBTI people, and to jointly reach a solution that will improve the status of marginalized social groups.

Conference was opened by German Ambassador to Serbia, Axel Dittmann and Charge D’Affairs of the US Embassy in Belgrade, Gordon Duguid, who both expressed fully support to this issue.

During the next two days of the Conference we learned about the positive arguments regarding the pluralization of political spaces for everyone as well as what best practices in the processes of democratic participation and protection of human rights of LGBT people in the Balkans.

More male speakers than female joined the Conference, so therefore the general conclusion is that more women are needed in politics, and certainly it is imperative that the LGBT community has its representatives in parliament.

At a panel discussion about trans elected officials, the conclusion was made that more transgender/transsexual people are needed in political life, and all the participants have agreed that greater visibility of trans people leads to greater degree of understanding of the needs of this community. Greater visibility will allow trans rights to become integrated with the political agenda at all authority levels. For this task, as well as for the integration of the trans community in political and social terms, the whole LGBTI community must work together in solidarity. It is necessary and important to understand and respect the use of correct grammatical genders, names, gender identity, as well as standing in clear support of victims of violence and discrimination.

Participants showed great interest for the panel „Lesbian Political Leadership: Their role in promoting equality“ which showed that all methods of political advancement of lesbians is important. On one hand all countries are still homophobic, starting with Slovenia, although in the same country one of the lesbian activists, NatasaSukič, was elected last year as a Councilor of the City Council of Ljubljana.

The panel reflected that all methods of political work are required at the same time – somemust lobby institutions and political parties while others partake in street activism. It is clear that after 20 years of lesbian movement in the region, there is a different kind of political activism for the empowerment of lesbians.

An activist from Sarajevo, Emina Bosnjak spoke about the systemic barriers in Bosnia and Herzegovina with its 16 levels of authorities, and the fact that they generally lobby at the cantonal level. Zorica Mršević spoke about the fundamental importance of feminist values in political activism and lesbians activists. From Turkey, Sedef Cakmak said that she is the only lesbian in politics, and that other LGBTI actors aretrans people.

Tanya Domi, a lesbian activist and professor talked about her appreciation for lesbians in the Balkans, to whom she provided great support, and said that she is personally active in GetEqual , and at the university level, and also through the support of the Hillary Clinton media campaign.

In the discussion that followed the presentations, panelists discussed the Roma and lesbian activism, and that almost all Roma in the region around Novi Bečej are sexually abused in the early years of the so-called early marriages. Some of these children move in 30s years when they have children and are beginning to move away from violent husbands, and some were beginning to fall in love with women for the first time. Female activists from Women’s Space, Vera Kurtić, informed the participants about the Feminist Summer School which the organization is organized every year and pointed out that the Roma LGBT activism associated with different actions in Europe.

The last conference day participants dedicated themselves to developing leadership skills through participation in one of the three parallel half-day training: Advocacy techniques conducted by Nebojsa Andric, manager of the NDI (National Democratic Institute) from Serbia, Running for office, which was led by Kristina Wilfore, (an expert on campaigns, elections and development of civil representation and greater participation of women in politics); and Social media activism, led by marketing experts from the consulting agency Pin Consulting, former participants of last year’s political leadership training, Aleksandar Savic and Stefan Sparavalo.

Participants used the Conference not only to participate in panel discussions, plenary sessions and training, but also to build networks that will help them to work towards strengthening democratic participation and human rights of LGBTI people in their countries to know each other with decision makers, exchange of ideas and project proposals.

The conference „Democracy for All: Political Participation of LGBTI Persons in the Western Balkans“
has created a space for reflection, dialogue and exchange of experiences for LGBT leaders , allies and PR experts from Serbia , Turkey, France.

The conference attracted a lot of attention of foreign embassies representatives and international institutions with which Labris has a long and successful cooperation as well as local independent bodies such as the Republic Ombudsman and the Commissioner for Equality and the Ombudsman of the city of Kragujevac, whose representatives attended the conference in large numbers.

Another event that took place on September 15 in the hall of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, almost historically for LGBTI movement in the Western Balkans, was the founding assembly of regional LGBTI associations. ERA Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans and Turkey will become the umbrella LGBT association in the Balkans, gathering already near 30 LGBTI organizations.

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