PES Women condemn proposals to change Election Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Woman speaking

Socialists and democrat women’s organisations across Europe have expressed concerned at changes to the Election Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would lower women’s political participation. These changes, are concerning for all progressive women and men, who believe that balanced representation in decision-making bodies is one of the key-issues in modern democracies. PES Women therefore strongly supports Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDP BiH) Women’s Forum in opposing proposals that would result in a decrease in women’s participation in political life in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The proposal has been rushed through in a process that did not allow for amendments or public discussion to take place. It will be voted in the Parliament as soon as next couple of days, despite efforts by politicians of the PES member party SDP BiH and civil society organizations to raise awareness on gender-balanced representation and reserved seats for women candidates.

After a public protest organized by SDP Bosnia and Herzegovina Women’s Forum last Friday in Sarajevo, where more than a hundred activists and politicians raised their voices for better representation of women in politics, it is now crucial that parliamentarians, both women and men, take action and vote against changes that would decrease women’s equal participation in political life.

PES Women stands united with all the progressive voices in Bosnia and Herzegovina in defending women’s human rights and their participation in political processes.

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said "Without further measures to ensure better political representation of women, the current 20% women's representation will drop drastically. We cannot afford this in the 21st century when momentum everywhere is moving in the opposite direction. Women represent over 50% of the population and the electorate - it is a matter of justice and democracy that they should be equally represented in decision making too."