“If you work on something for a long time and persistently, in the end it will happen” – Sonja Drljevic

economic empowerment of women

The economic program of the Women’s Center of Uzice was established in 2000 with the aim of helping women find new jobs during the difficult transition period.

The initiative for its establishment arose at the meeting of the Association of Women’s Initiatives (AŽIN), on March 8, 2000 in Belgrade.

During the meeting, the women’s organizations adopted a strategy of active participation in providing support to women, to become economically empowered, acquire new business skills and obtain funds to start independent businesses.

In the next eight years, various training sessions were organized for unemployed women and they were supported in starting a business on their own and founding cooperatives.

The most significant achievements from this period are: out of 100 women who completed the training program, 38% were employed within two months after the training, 13 women’s cooperatives, 1 company and 15 independent shops and agencies were established.

Since 2009 the economic program has shown the employment of women from hard-to-employ groups and the creation of a unique model of small economic initiatives led by women.

The most famous initiative created in this way is RETEX –textile recycling, which still exists today within the Women’s Center Uzice and currently employs women from vulnerable groups

Rural women, as a special group of women covered by this program, are supported in several ways: they participated in training programs after which they had the opportunity to apply for equipment, they joined cooperatives and associations, were nominated for awards, went on study visits.

Over 70,000 EUR has been invested in their businesses through donations, and 12 associations of rural women have been registered in southwestern Serbia.

Our most important partner in this program, in addition to donors who have participated in funding activities in various ways, is the National Employment Service.