Inclusion of Ethnic Minority Women in the Labour Market

Donor: European Union through Central Financing and Contracting Department, Ministry of Finance - IPA- Human Resource Development 04 06 01

This project was implemented from January 2015 to July 2017, with the goal to contribute to achieving an inclusive labour market in Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic of), where all citizens, including those from vulnerable categories, will have equal access opportunities. The Project increased the access and presence of women from ethnic minorities of the regions of Skopje, Bitola, Štip, Tetovo and Kumanovo to labour market, through strengthening their employment potentials and creating a favourable social environment for their employment.


The project responded to the current trend in Macedonia, where the activity rates of women are continuously below the EU average (particularly evident among women from ethnic minorities). Women are seen by their traditional environments as capable only for assuming the role of housewives and payless workers, and do not encourage women to seek employment. In addition, there is a general low understanding of the needs of marginalised women, including those from ethnic minority groups and the support of government institution towards their inclusion and access to labour market is rather limited. These circumstances were the main triggers for initiation of the project by CARE International and partner organisation Women Civic Initiative Antiko. The Action achieved these results:


Expected Result 1 - Employment potentials of women from ethnic minorities’ communities are strengthened – through a set of activities designed to change the individual attitude and capacity of the target beneficiaries towards finding employment. The total of 326 unemployed women from local communities of the target area – regions of Skopje, Tetovo, Kumanovo, Bitola and Stip with the largest percentage of ethnic minorities, as evidenced by the Agency for Employment, were included in the project organised capacity building program. The program consisted of trainings on communication, basic information on gender equality, increase of individual motivation, soft skills necessary for active job search; professional orientation, counselling and job-matching. To increase the employability of the selected beneficiaries, the project organised vocational trainings for 167 women and professional practice for 30 women in cooperation with the local employers.


Expected Result 2 - Minority communities in Macedonia have improved attitudes towards the employment of women and are engaged in social dialogue and actions supporting their employment. The project focused on influencing the two most important segments of environment of women from ethnic minority communities: their families and local community stakeholders. On the one hand, the project undertook outreach psychosocial support/awareness raising to the families of women participating in the trainings through ‘door to door’ visits were paid to 150 families to indicate and discuss the advantages of women’s employment for the family and changing position of women in the societies nowadays. The project also initiated and facilitated the social dialogue in the target communities between women and their representing organisations on the one side and local authorities and institutions on the other, which raised the issues and challenges ethnic minority women face in seeking employment, provided the platform for prioritizing measures needed for improvement of the situation at the same time exploring innovative approaches to resolving the problems of missing support services.


Expected Result 3 – A comprehensive model for outreach work on enhancing employment and employability of ethnic minority women is designed and promoted for multiplication – the project worked to increase the action’s sustainability, by establishing firm relations and cooperation with the Macedonian Agency for Employment, the most important Government’s structure for the issues of employment. Through a set of advocacy activities –meetings, presentations, public debates, everyday cooperation and inclusion of the Agency professionals in various project activities, even trainings (such as gender equality training organised by the project for the representatives of the Agency), CARE and ANTIKO looked to influence further usage of the project methodology and principles by the institutions’ professionals, but also to build the capacity and sensitization of the Agency of Employment over the gender issues and inclusion of ethnic minority women.



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