Commissioner for Protection of Equality | Serbia

Until recently, few women were allowed to enroll in military and police academies in Serbia. Initially, quotas were introduced, aiming to encourage women to became students of the Military Academy and Criminalistics and Police Academy. Until the 2000’s, the majority of women employed in these sectors worked in administration. Women had no opportunity to study for professional military or police service as such – those that have been working in operational forces along with men graduated from other faculties or high schools. The quota for female students at the Criminalistics and Police Academy was on average 25% of all students financed by the state, depending on the type of studies, while the quota at the Military Academy was about 15%, according to data from 2013. For students who had to pay full scholarships, there were no quotas. These quotas became an obstacle for more women to enroll in military and police academies, and were not in accordance with antidiscrimination legislation.

In 2013, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality received several complaints on this matter, including a complaint from a girl who could not enroll in Military High School because one of the conditions was that candidates must be men. In an opinion, the Commissioner stated that women and girls were discriminated against by the Criminalistics and Police Academy and Military Academy because conditions for enrolling students were not equal for both sexes. Along with the opinion, the Commissioner recommended that the two academies cancel enrolling quotas and eliminate additional conditions related to marital and family status of candidates. A similar opinion was issued upon receiving a complaint related to Military High School, with a recommendation to allow girls to enroll at the school under the same conditions as men. All recommendations were fully implemented.