RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendations for improvement of the position of newly deivered mothers in BiH

Vesta Association from Tuzla, in partnership with Udružene žene Banja Luka has implemented a series of activities in recent months, with a view to integrate gender responsible budgeting into the budgeting process at all levels of government, and to improve the position of newly delivered mothers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These activities are a part of the project Gender responsible budgeting as part of reform changes on the path of EU integrations and the basis for improvement of the position of women. The project is funded by the European Union and UNWOMEN. As part of this project, analysis was produced of budgets of all Cantons in Federation BiH, Republika Srpska and Brčko District BiH, from the perspective of allocations for exercising of rights on the grounds of pregnancy, delivery and care for a newborn.

In order to assess the current situation of these rights, and come up with recommendations for improvement, a process of public consultations was organised on the rights of newly delivered mothered throughout BiH. Public consultations were held in administrative centres of each canton in Federation BiH, Republika Srpska and Brčko District BiH. 

These consultations were attended by parliamentarians, representatives of Ministries of labour and social welfare, Ministries of finance, local administration, social welfare centres, employment bureaus, labour unions, NGOs, media, newly delivered mothers, pregnant women and mothers to be.

Participants of public consultations pointed to the discrimination and violations of basic human rights of mothers in BiH, caused by unharmonised legal framework for exercising of rights related to pregnancy, delivery and care for a newborn, and the need for a uniform solution to this problem.

Based on the obtained information, we produced the Analytical basis and a Policy Brief, which provides both an overview of the current situation and recommendations made by participants of public consultations held BiH-wide for addressing of the problems of discrimination when it comes to rights and benefits related to pregnancy, delivery and care for a newborn.

The following recommendations were made:

1. Create a national policy at the BiH state level for protection of families and children, which will also include measures to address the problem of discrimination in the field of rights and benefits on the grounds of pregnancy, delivery and care for a newborn in BiH

2. Accellerating activities at the Federation BiH level to pass the Law on protection of families with children, with a view to ensure accessibility and equality of these rights in FBiH

3. Until such time when the new solutions will be delivered by legislative and executive authorities in FBiH Cantons, conditions should be created for the newly delivered mothers to excercise their rights as guaranteed by the law

4. Existing rights of newly delivered mothers in Republika Srpska should not be undermined by changes to the law, and sufficient funds need to be provided in the RS budget for payment of maternity allowances.

During your future activities, kindly take into account the said recommendations, and within your possibilities and jurisdiction, propose solutions aimed at improving the position of newly delivered mothers when it comes to budgetary allocations for these purposes.