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Montenegro (MNE) is a strongly patriarchal country, facing economic and other gender discrimination. The situation is particularly worrying in the northern, less developed part of the country, where already one in three women/girls is a victim of some form of violence. Institute Circle, in partnership with IKRE Rožaje and the NGO IMPULS from Montenegro, will launch the project "Education and Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups of Women and Girls in Montenegro - EKOS", funded by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. The project, which will involve 5 municipalities in the north of Montenegro, will run between April 2023 and September 2025.

The main objective of the project is to raise awareness on violence prevention, to support the economic independence of vulnerable groups of women and girls and to contribute to reducing the gender gap in the least developed part of northern Montenegro. The project will involve more than 400 women, girls, representatives of local NGOs, and will also connect with local municipal authorities, local businesses, public institutions and the media. Through various awareness-raising campaigns the project will also address the wider public in this part of the country.

The project will activate a network of 10 NGOs in the north of the country for the prevention of violence. 16 professionals, members and volunteers from 10 NGOs, which are already working in this area of the country in the field of gender equality, equal opportunities, prevention of gender-based violence and empowerment of women and girls from vulnerable groups, will receive additional training. The aim of the training is to strengthen the representatives of the network for their further work with vulnerable groups, to increase their competence in providing psychosocial support to victims of violence, in ensuring their economic independence and in spreading awareness among women and girls about their rights and gender equality. The training content will be made available to professionals and the general public through an online academy integrated on the partners' websites.

2 training programmes will be carried out, with an additional one-month mentoring of 20 women and girls in the field of production, processing and sale of medicinal and herbal plants, including the development of a business plan and promotional campaigns to promote self-employment.

Within the two-year period a 16-day campaign against gender-based violence will be conducted with personal counselling, workshops, street actions, self-help groups, etc. A total of 14 forums, 5 round tables and 16 workshops in the rural areas of the northern region of the country will contribute to raising awareness among the general public. Local public institutions will be approached to integrate the theme into local strategic plans.

The project will thereby contribute to raising awareness on the importance of equal opportunities and the prevention of gender-based violence, as well as to increasing the economic independence and empowerment of women and girls in the north of Montenegro.


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