The second Town Hall discussion organized by Stella was held in Kumanovo on the 26 of April 2018. Despite the lower attandance comparing to the first event, the debate was fruitful and revealed many gender stereotypes incorporated in our belief system as a society. We believe that change begins within the local community on a macro level and this is the main reason why Stella orginizes these small-scale discussions.
The guest speakers for this discussion where Ljatifa Shikovska, the President of the Association of Ambrela in Shuto Orizari, and Liljana Georgievska, President of the Association of Bankruptcy Workers UNIT. Our first speaker, Ms. Shikovska gave a great speech and examples that disclosed realities not only regarding gender innequality, but ethnic innequlaity as well. She pointed out that even educated women that have higher education are facing obstacles in acheving their career goals due to their dedication to the family and their children or they face obstructions by their husbands and families that believe women do not need to realize their career goals. It appeared from the discussion that we can still find examples of women dedicated to the household that are prohibited to work and develop their careers.
Our second speaker Ms. Georgievska pointed out that from her own experience the life of a woman is a constant battle, not only in the home, but as well in the society, in the educational system, and in the work environment. Almost everywhere women face difficulties and problems in achieving their goals. She encouraged the audience that no matter what kind of systematic obstacles or stereotypes they will face, they should remain strong and fight for their and the rights of other women too.
The discussion that followed after the presentations, brought out the main conclusion. The new generations and the younger families are devoted to divide the work in the households, and with the support of the community they can more often see men that are taking care of their children and doing the cooking or the dishes. This was unimaginable in the past. The speakers assumed that if a woman wants to achieve a successful career she should have a great support from her husband. However, the main point was that women should remain dedicated in achieving a career while not neglecting their family. A woman is brave enough to fight on both fronts having a great success, the visitors concluded.