Serbia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Gender plays a minor role in cultural policy debates. Following World War II, women played and continue to play a leading role in the cultural field. The problem can be seen at another level: while women represent the majority of employees in the cultural sector, only 30% of managerial positions are held by women in Serbia.

Unlike several years ago when there were quite a number of women in key positions, many of those had been lost by 2014, without many new positions. Women were leading the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Museum of Applied Arts, the National Theatre in Subotica, the Theatre Museum, the Historical Museum of Serbia, together with a female State Secretary of Culture (the Museum of Yugoslav History, National Museum in PanĨevo, National Museum are still led by female directors). On a broader scale, decision-making positions in culture are seen anyway as weak and not so relevant having in mind small budgets and power. Thus, they are often easily left to women to show equality.

In many municipalities in Serbia, the position of City Secretary for Culture, (or City Officer for Cultural, Educational & Social affairs – in smaller municipalities), is held by women. Still, the issue of gender had to be considered more seriously, as general statistical data on gender equality in Serbia is not promising. Also, within governmental reconstructions or in a time of crisis, women are usually first to be dismissed, scapegoats of multi-party coalitions (as demonstrated by the easy "rejection" of female state secretaries for culture, dismissing one who is very competent with another less qualified person, or later with another with no professional competence in culture, shows that there is a lot of manipulation of women within parties, but also within public administration structures).

Chapter published: 17-08-2015