Sustainable changes start with the individual

During the workshop, with focus on Equity and Inclusion in Eastern Europe, ICLD:s Knowledge Centre and Municipal Partnerships presented its four core areas and Agenda 2030. Addressing “Equity and Inclusion in Municipal Partnership projects”, Muhabi Sinan presented the partnership project “Different abilities, same rights” between the city of Cair in Macedonia and the city of Skelleftea in Sweden.
“People with disabilities are invisible in our society”, said Muhabi Sinan, who hoped the two cities can join forces in the project, and contribute to change the attitude in his town. 

Dragi Vuckovic from the city of Subotica in Serbia explained the long road towards a partnership with the municipality of Sandviken.
“Our partnership started with two people from Sandviken and one from Subotica that wanted to do business. Now we are many stakeholders working together to reduce unemployment among young people”, he says.

Through this partnership, they have learnt about the importance of sustainable development and the need to achieve more gender equality in their city.
“We are different people from Subotica and Sandviken, but we always have good will and we are open to discuss”, he said.

After the workshop participants reflected on the issue of “equity”. Here are some of their reflections:
“When it comes to gender equality, I need to start with my family. My husband says he is always right because he is a man, so I need to start at home if I want to change my city” said Natallia Khatuntseva, from the municipality of Zmijivka in Ukraine.
Yuliya Poberezhna from Kamyanets-Podilsky City in Ukraine, said:
“I realized I used to speak about gender equality, but not with a good understanding. I found in this workshop some ideas and tools to share with my colleagues”.

During coffee and lunch breaks many of the participants discussed their own biases towards gender equity. They reflected on how easy it is to be gender blind and gender unconscious.
“For me, this is an important result of the workshop because we need to start at the individual level to create a long-lasting change in their projects and in their cities”, says, Ana Maria Vargas, Research Director of ICLD.