Maternity Leave Protection in City of Istočno Sarajevo - Addressing Corporate Responsibility and Building Local Strategies

Author(s): Marko Matović
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender Policies
Number of pages:


Many women in Bosnia and Herzegovina have stories about losing jobs because of pregnancy, despite having the legal right to maternity leave. Violations of the right to maternity leave are occurring in bad economic situations characterized by huge competition in the labour market, low wages and poor working conditions. Although the legislation is mostly in line with international standards and provides legal protection for pregnant women, lack of implementation of these laws puts mothers in an unfavourable position in the labour market. The aim of this project is to address violations of the right to the maternity leave directly with the people and institutions violating the law. In order to do that, it is necessary to collect data about the position of women in the labour market, the first activity of the project. The focus will be on women in Istočno Sarajevo, which is a small city in the eastern part of the Bosnian entity called the Republic of Srpska. The second activity of the project will be to organize roundtables with business owners where the issue of maternity leave will be addressed with data from phase one. At the same time, employers’ perspectives will be collected. The first two activities will lead to the creation of a strategy for the improvement of the economic position of women in Istočno Sarajevo, focusing on maternity leave. The strategy will be produced and implemented in cooperation with city authorities and will be a model for other municipalities in the country.