In the 21st century, when the world moves at breakneck speed, we in the Balkans, but also Europe still face gender segregation in terms of leadership. Women in every area struggle every day with all kinds of stereotypes by going their way, showing leadership and excellence in the area where they act and work. The alarming situation is also the influence of daily fake news in the electronic and social media that are published on the eastern side of the world, against whom the European Union and the world are fighting every day. In a larger percentage, women, especially women who are involved in politics, are the target of attacks, insults, and inappropriate comments, which further encourages doubt in a woman’s ability to be a leader in her profession.
Inspiration for many women who want to know a little more about the price that has to be paid for women’s leadership comes from the figure and work of Margaret Thatcher, one of the most powerful women in the history of mankind, 11 years Prime Minister of Great Britain and the first woman who ever held that position. One of her short but quite inspiring statements says: “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman”. The European Union is now led by a woman who is also a great inspiration for all women leaders who should believe in themselves and their ability to lead institutions, companies, etc.
Today the whole world can see that we are all better off when women get the opportunities they deserve. Of course, the traditional roles of mother, daughter, and wife can go together with the roles of entrepreneur, politician, artist, educator, diplomat, journalist, and editor, but if and only if we create conditions in society for that.
Macedonia, the Balkans, and even Europe still need a lot of work to put women at the center of all policies. Macedonian society should oppose violence against women the most because living without fear and violence is a basic human right. Macedonia should invest in quality education for girls and women, including education in the field of technical sciences. An education that will be adapted to all the roles that women play in society.
We need to design policies to bring marginalized women out of poverty. To open more jobs for women and enable their career advancement. We have to ensure that women can always be able to reach the top, including in private companies. We should make sure that equal work is paid equally, regardless of whether it is done by a man or a woman. We need to make progress on work-life balance. To provide parental leave for mothers and fathers. We should invest in good kindergartens and good schools and create opportunities for all parents, from all social backgrounds, to be able to send their children to kindergarten and school.
And this is exactly what women’s emancipation means. The freedom to be a mother, sister, wife, but at the same time to have a career.
When you research more on the subject, not only in Macedonian history, but also in world history, you notice that women are the ones who wrote history, but little was written about them, little was known. Overshadowed by their traditional roles as mothers, daughters, and housewives, their intellectual contribution to the development of society was not always properly recognized or valued. As time passes, for example, through historical artifacts, names of Macedonian women who in the 19th century waged a constant struggle with society for their visibility, simultaneously helping the process of their maturation and affirmation, begin to emerge.
The struggle for the role in society of every woman must not and should not stop. On the contrary, it should be even louder and fiercer. Each of us should contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Gender Equality.