The Network…OUT OF CIRCLE – Serbia was founded on 16 August 2011. The history of the Network is connected with the beginning of the work of the organization which was founded in 1997 by three women with disabilities who recognized the problem of violence and discrimination against women with disabilities as an important work area. Thus, …Out of Circle – Belgrade was the first organization founded exclusively for the purpose of providing support to women with disabilities.
The position of women with disabilities asked for actions throughout Serbia, in order to start coordinated lasting and comprehensive activities to protect, reinforce and expand the rights of women with disabilities as quickly as possible. For this reason, on the initiative of the …Out of Circle – Belgrade, at the beginning of 2007, new organizations were also formed in other local self-governments.
The Network’s mission is to contribute to the social inclusion, independence and life without violence of women with disabilities, and the vision is achievement of equal opportunities in society for women with disabilities in Serbia.
Network…OUT OF CIRCLE – Serbia is engaged in activities aimed at improving relevant policies, reducing discrimination and increasing the visibility of women with disabilities, especially increasing the visibility and improving the position of women with disabilities who are in a situation of violence.
The Department for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs financially supports the work of the Network, which has developed cooperation also with representatives of local organizations of persons with disabilities and state administration bodies.
The network makes continuous efforts to raise public awareness of the gender dimension of disability. With the event named “WEEK OF WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES”, organized every year since 2013 on 17 – 24 November, Network …OUT OF CIRCLE – Serbia, strives to draw public’s attention to the position of women with disabilities in society.
Within its work so far, the Network has organized a large number of activities aimed, inter alia, at improving the knowledge and competencies of SOS consultants, informing decision-makers and the general public about the exercise of the rights of women with disabilities, as well as conveying women with disabilities knowledge in the sphere of women’s rights, public advocacy, civil activism, discrimination, reproductive health of women with disabilities. In 2016, the Network entered into a program of empowering women’s organizations dealing with violence against women with disabilities in the region, and in 2021, it launched an innovative program, the Leadership Academy for Women with Disabilities, in order to increase the number of young women with disabilities – activists from different cities in Serbia, who have the knowledge and skills to influence public policies in the field of women’s human rights.
In honor of long-term president of the organization …OUT OF CIRCLE – Belgrade, Lepojka Carevic Mitanovski, who was a pioneer in the field of protection and improvement of the position of persons with disabilities, especially women, the organization …OUT OF CIRCLE – Belgrade has established the annual “Lepojka Carevic” award, which is awarded to meritorious individuals, institutions and organizations for their contribution to the improvement of the position of women with disabilities.
The President of the Executive Board of the Network …Out of Circle – Serbia is Suzana Ilic.