One of the most common abuses of human rights is the violence against women and girls. It can’t be handled like a personal affair, and the proper criminal justice action needs to be taken. Therefore, Justice Minister Krenar Lloga stated at a regional conference titled “United against violence – Enough!” held in Pristina on Tuesday that it is imperative that our efforts include the criminalization of violence against women and girls.

According to worldwide data, a family member kills around five women or girls per hour. Nearly one in three women has at some point in her life been the victim of physical or sexual abuse. Remarkably, 86 percent of women and girls reside in nations with weak legal safeguards against violence against them because of their gender.
“With this year’s Invest To Prevent Violence against Women and Girls campaign, we are joining 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, which was launched on November 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will last through December 10, when we observe the Human Rights Day,” Lloga stated.

North Macedonia was one of the first nations to join the Istanbul Convention in 2011, which came into effect in July 2018, according to the Minister of Justice. In order to comply with the Istanbul Convention, the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code was passed in February 2023.

New crimes are being introduced to the Criminal Code in addition to making gender-based violence illegal. One such felony is femicide, which is defined as the murder of a woman or child under the age of 18, mutilation of female genital organs, stalking and sexual harassment.

In order to prevent victimization, the Ministry of Justice said in a press release, victims of all forms of violence against women and girls need to receive timely and comprehensive protection through support and protection services.45% of women in Macedonia reported having experienced psychological, physical, and/or sexual violence at the hands of a current or past intimate partner, according to a 2019 OSCE-led poll on violence against women.

“A sizable fraction of Macedonian women (37%) said that their acquaintances concur that a woman must submit to her husband. About half think that domestic abuse belongs in the family and should be addressed privately, while 32% think it’s critical for a male to establish his authority over his partner. According to the news release, “These traditional beliefs pose a significant challenge to the fight against violence against women in Macedonia.”