#HSCDIB 2 – press conference


Reconstruction Women`s Fund held a press conference on the occasion of the educational campaign How Sisters Could Do It Best 2!

Subject of the conference held on 30thof November in multimedia center Šok zadruga 2 in Novi Sad was “Why Is It Important To Have SOS Women`s Center”.

Speakers at the conference were:

–       Zoe Gudović, PR manager, Reconstruction Women`s Fund

–       Tanja Ignjatović, programme coordinator of the Autonomous Women`s Center

–       Ivana Perić, coordinator of the SOS Women`s Center Novi Sad

–       Marija Tomić, participant of the campaign HSCDIB 2

–       Melanija Lojpur, participant of the campaign HSCDIB 2

Twenty-five years ago women`s organizations founded the first SOS hotlines in Serbia. Today there are SOS hotlines in 18 towns and municipalities of Serbia, responding to over 15.000 calls per year. While the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs procrastinate, calculate and manipulate with the national SOS hotline phone number, treating this service that means life or death for women, saving their lives, as one-year-project, not as a long term social responsibility, women`s organizations are finding ways to sustain the functioning of this service, in order to provide timely assistance to women. The state plays games with public procurements, erases and annuls many years of work of women`s organizations, re-directing public funds to procurements of equipment and trainings of operators, even though functional services ALREADY EXIST, and they are realized by women`s organizations across Serbia.

According to what the Ministry of Social Affairs plans, a new operative center is to be established and it is going to collect data and forward it to the institutions in charge, says Tanja Ignjatović, programme coordinator of the Autonomous Women’s Center.

“There will be around thirty operators whose work will be based on a questionnaire, which means that their work will be evaluated depending on whether they collected all the data in the form, regardless of whether they understood a woman calling and her needs. Then the collected data and recorded phone conversation would be sent to the authorized persons from ministries, and police would also receive an alert by default. And what if police goes out to the field and does not act as needed, what if something worse happens after police intervention, what if perpetrator of violence comes from institutions alerted”, warns Ignjatović. 

The campaign How Sisters Could Do It Best 2, among other issues, problematizes the way of raising, managing and spending public money in the context of women’s human rights. Therefore it is important for us how it is being used in the case of national SOS hotline.

Another aspect of HSCDIB campaign is development of local philanthropy, as a way to support women’s movement. At the conference the fundraising action for advancement of work of SOS Women’s Center from Novi Sad was presented. It was held in cafe – bookstore Nublu on 31stof October. Yet another action organized within HSCDIB2 campaign was held on 28thof October at the Belgrade club Ljubimac, where funds were fundraised for Suzana Milovanović, an activist from Pirot.