Hundreds of women are expected to take to the streets of Podgorica to protest cuts to state aid. Women in Montenegro will stage a rally on Thursday demanding the government reverse its decision to reduce state aid for mothers of three and more children.
The government reduced financial help allocated to more than 22,000 women by 25 percent in January amid more general plans to slash public spending.
Mothers were initially given 336 euros or 192 euros pre month depending on the number of children they had, but these amounts have been reduced to 264 and 144 euros respectively.
Protest organisers said that around half of the women on the list were jobless and that women will not cease their requests to abolish the law to reduce compensation.
One member of the protest’s organising committee, Zeljka Savkovic, said that the mothers of Montenegro will defend their guaranteed and acquired rights, and not allow the subjugation of women in this way.
“They will try to drain us, we will not allow it. This is our struggle and we will stay here day and night,“ Savkovic said.
On February 16, some 2,500 women protested outside the government building in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, over a law that reduces the lifetime benefits paid to mothers of three or more children.The protest turned violent when mothers broke through metal fences set up by police to enter the building.
Police prevented the masses from gaining entry to the premises. However, as the protest continued, a delegation of demonstrators was allowed inside to speak with government representatives.The Ministry of Finance said that reverting to the old benefit amounts is not possible this year because the Budget Law has only allowed for payments of 264 and 144 euros.
The ministry also said that the government has no authority to abolish the law on benefits for mothers saying it is in the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.