The Wife of the President, Elizabeta Gjorgievska, addressed the ceremony of awarding the title “European Woman of the Year” by the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje.
Distinguished Ambassador Geer, Respected Ambassadors, Dear Friends.
I would like to congratulate the International Women’s Day, a day when we are reminded that the struggle for full social, cultural, gender and sex equality is not over yet, and will probably never end. Moreover, this is a day when we should clearly emphasize the political, cultural, socio-economic, scientific achievements of women and pay tribute and recognition to those brave women who, unwaveringly, and at the cost of their own lives, were the first to join the movements advocating for women’s rights and equality, including Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, Emma Goldman, and the suffragettes around the world.
It is indeed an honor, a delight, but above all an encouragement and inspiration to be here today as part of this noble 2022 European Woman of the Year initiative, which incorporates an extremely important message, which is that women are a key driver of social processes in all segments. The arguments for this message can be seen in the biographies and professional paths of the nominated five strong and dedicated women, Maja Mojsovska, Ilina Arsova, Dita Starova Kerimi, Dina Duma and Natalija Burgieva, whose efforts and successes in their own field, but also in the wider social and cultural space show that it is the woman who pushes the professional boundaries towards excellence, and influences the developmental and empowering social capital.
If we look through the political, common, but also through the intimate, private history, we can conclude that it has never been easy in the world to recognize and affirm the complex personal, emotional and thinking structure of women. Throughout the centuries, it has always been difficult for a woman to stand in an equal unity of differences with a man. Gender inequality is a result of the dominant centuries-old cultural matrix, which, of course, takes a long time to change, and which allows whole epochs and different cultures not to be noted by women in the field of literature, philosophy, science, arts. And, of course, there were women, but because of the patriarchal order of the dynamics of power, they remained voiceless, invisible. The consequences of this false impression for the woman “as a shadow” which exists only on the margins of family history, encouraged the struggle for unwavering advocacy in terms of equal inclusion in the entire social space in which she will act freely, but, at the same time, change it according their competencies, visions and knowledge.
There are many opportunities to dive into the empowering movements, urges, fighting manifestations of women. Even more unattainable is the horizon of motivational, identity, cultural references related to the poetics of drawing a precise social, historical and political trajectory of women, especially women in this area, but not as an isolated entity, but as an integral part of every segment of what is called a responsible community. Gender positions are formed by cultural norms, but at the same time they belong to the domain of advocacy and resistance in relation to the acquisition of freedom and rights.
In the name of freedom, which is the essential longing and the strongest driver of the “woman’s writing”, I believe that each and every one of us, and all of us together, will continue to write our own handwriting and reinforce the arguments that we are different but equal.
Let us not allow women’s equality to be just a phrase, a statistic and a quota. Let us continue to create the landscapes of freedom and of creative and equal presence together.
Thanks to the Delegation of the European Union and Ambassador David Geer, to the Ambassadors H.E. Ms. Nives Tiganj, H.E. Ms. Anke Holstein, H.E. Ms. Monica Axinte and H.E. Ms. Christine Forsgren Bengson for pointing out through this year’s nominations that there are exceptional women in this society who contribute to its further development.