OSCE survey on violence against women in North Macedonia

The OSCE Mission to Skopje and the OSCE Gender Section presented on 15 May 2019 in Skopje a survey on well-being and safety of women in North Macedonia.  The research finds there is a particular need for more support and targeted action to help women from minority groups and from rural areas.

The survey is the first of its kind conducted in South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe. It gives a detailed picture of the physical, sexual and psychological violence suffered by women and girls in North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine. The survey also covered Kosovo.

It aims to provide solid evidence for informed decision-making and advocacy at different levels to reduce violence against women, as well as to improve services for women who have experienced violence.

Based on the detailed survey findings, the OSCE has drafted a number of key conclusions that suggest ways to recognize and respond to violence against women:

  • The scale of violence against women and girls in the area covered by the survey calls for enhanced efforts to implement legislation and improve action plans that will address all forms of violence experienced by women and girls. 
  • The survey clearly finds that all women, regardless of their economic or social status, can experience violence, but some groups of women are at a higher risk. These risks include being poor, economically dependent or having children.
  • The characteristics and behaviour of perpetrators also need to be taken into consideration as possible risk factors contributing to intimate partner violence.
  • Violence has a severe physical and psychological impact, and women in the surveyed locations suffer from health problems as a result of their experiences of violence. 
  • Based on the data gathered, it is clear that women do not report the vast majority of incidents to the police and that they rarely seek support from other institutions. Executive summary
  • Barriers to seeking help are rooted in attitudes that silence women and protect abusers and also in women’s lack of trust in the authorities to help and protect them. 
  • The data collected illustrates that a majority of women do not know what to do if they experience violence and that they are not aware of local specialized organizations offering support.

Read the full survey here: https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true

References from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe