Areas of Specialisation

Combatting gender discrimination and supporting women’s empowerment

In Macedonia, both the Constitution and the national laws guarantee complete equality between men and women. The fact that the law does not make any distinction between the legal capacity of men and women means that there are no legal limitations for women to own property, initiate court proceedings, obtain credits, etc.

Gender-based violence, discrimination based on sex and pregnancy, lower wages and less paid labour, inefficient mechanisms for protection and mobbing, are among the most persistent forms of violation of women's rights in Macedonia.

The life of women from rural areas is more difficult than the life of women in urban areas. Their exclusion from (or at the very least, unequal access to) decision-making structures, health services and economic opportunities all increase their likelihood of exposure to violence. There are additionally cultural and social barriers, especially among Romany women.

On equality between women and men, a 2016-2020 Strategy for Equality and Non-Discrimination was adopted in June 2016 but little has been done to effectively promote gender equality. There is increasing awareness in society of the need to combat and prevent domestic violence. However, much remains to be done to ensure a long-term impact on gender equality. Discriminatory customs, traditions and stereotypes persist, and socially regressive trends in society are fuelled by some parts of the media, as well as by some national policies and initiatives.[1]

In the Republic of Macedonia, there is no legal recognition of same-sex couples, nor civil unions or any other registered form of life partnership for same-sex couples. The law strictly defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman". As regards to protection from discrimination of the LGBTI community, it has to be mentioned that the Law on prevention and protection against discrimination doesn’t contain sexual orientation and gender identity as separate grounds for discrimination, but covers these two possible grounds under the category of “any other grounds”. In practice, public bodies for protection against discrimination examine discrimination complaints filed on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, these cases are rarely reported and preventive measures and activities barely exist. LGBTI individuals are often targets of societal prejudice, including harassment and use of derogatory language. There are only few CSOs that work in this field.

The main challenges in terms of promoting gender equality in Macedonia include:

  • combatting domestic violence against women
  • tackling social exclusion of women from rural and remote areas, as well as Roma women (e.g. phenomena of early marriages)
  • promoting equal position in the labour market
  • raising awareness and understanding of LGBTI rights (among LGBTI people and also wider public)
  • advocating and lobbying initiatives for LGBTI
  • support victims of violence (shelters, safe houses etc)
  • increase institutional capacity to work in the field of LGBTI
  • combat widespread hate speech against LGBTI

KMOP has worked a lot for providing women with access to resources, employment and education, for reducing inequality and for promoting their full participation in the social, economic, and political life. The interventions include: skills development and training programmes specifically targeted to the needs of vulnerable women; targeted interventions to boost women entrepreneurs; research and policy analysis that examine the employment potential of women belonging to extremely disadvantaged groups (single-parented families, migrants, victims of domestic violence, etc); interventions promoting the reconciliation of family and professional life targeting both women and employers / companies. At the same time, we work to ensure that women have a real voice in the political scene at national and EU levels, from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making and influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families and countries. Moreover, KMOP is actively engaged in combatting all forms of discrimination resulting from gender-related characteristics, as well as sexual orientation. This practically means protecting the rights and contributing to serving the needs of populations considered as vulnerable due to their sexual identity (i.e. LGBT community) by tackling stereotypes leading to their marginalization. KMOP’s activities include campaigns for preventing and combating homo and transphobia, building the capacities of professionals in order to identify and support LGBT refugees and migrants, as well as combatting discrimination and bullying phenomena inside school due to gender identity and orientation by training teachers and raising awareness among parents.



For more information about our relevant project references, please click here

KMOP Athens (HQ)

75, Skoufa str.
Athens 10680
Tel.: +30 210 3637547
Fax: +30 210 3639758

KMOP Skopje

St. 1737 № 24/9, 1st floor
Skopje 1000
North Macedonia
Tel.: +389 2 3144 199

KMOP Piraeus

1, Tzavella & Matrozou str.
Pireaus 18533
Tel.: +30 211 7201055
Fax: +30 211 7407525

KMOP Thessaloniki

3, Afroditis & Odysseos str.
Thessaloniki 54629
Tel.: +30 2310 534322

KMOP Pristina

Gustav Mayer 7/1
Prishtina 10000
Tel.: +381 (0)38 712 683

KMOP Chișinău

75 M. Kogalniceanu St.
Chisinau MD 2009
Republic of Moldova
Tel.: +373 67 224 222

KMOP Brussels

Rue de la Science, 14B
Brussels (Business Centre)

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