“Organizations that are actively dealing with women’s rights in BiH have never stopped being active, they are among the first to travel thousands of kilometres in the midst of a pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus to help women who are forgotten by institutions and not mentioned in local action plans”, it was concluded today at the conference of Feminist Pledge Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized by the CURE Foundation and the Foundation for the Women’s Empowerment.
At the conference participant discussed the challenges that women and girls face daily and how to solve them, the experiences of activism during the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19, and how much COVID-19 has affected women’s rights on social policies. Also, the initiatives of citizens and organizations that provide support to socially marginalized women were presented, as well as cooperation within local communities, public institutions and international organizations on improving the position of women and girls in B&H.
The conference was organized in the frame of the project “Women’s Rights – Agenda for Positive Change”, funded by the European Union, and implemented by the CURE Foundation and the Foundation for Women’s Empowerment and in the frame of the project “Feminist Pledge Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina” supported by Kvinna till Kvinna.
Gianluca Vannini, Head of the Section for Operations for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation of the EU Delegation to B&H, pointed out that the European Union strongly supports the strengthening and respect of human rights in B&H, with special focus on strengthening and protecting women’s rights. ”European Union wants to ensure that women and girls participate fully in all aspects of society because only together will we be able to achieve sustainable development for all. We have demanded and will continue to encourage the government to ensure the integration of gender policies in all spheres of economic, social and political life with the full support coming from civil society,” Vannini said.
Snježana Mirković, president of the Association “Romani Ćej” Prnjavor, referred especially to the problems that Roma women face in exercising their rights. “We cannot talk about equal treatment if we do not include women from minority and marginalized groups in decision-making processes. I always send a message with my example that we can be a change and that we can change the world around us, because we change opinions and break down prejudices that are related to Roma women in our society. When someone has a problem, it does not matter what nation it is, skin colour or gender – we all experience the same problems”, Mirković pointed out.
Maida Zagorac, expert associate of the CURE Foundation, underlined the importance of institutional support for the economic empowerment of women. “There must be institutional assistance and support for economic empowerment of women that are survivors of domestic violence. Identifying and planning measures for economic empowerment for them in the Employment Strategy of the Federation of B&H is one of the key steps in this important process”, said Zagorac.
Vedrana Frašto from the CURE Foundation stated that the most impressive part of the conference was the sentence “Municipal/cantonal budgets reflect what kind of policy is in force”. That sentence reflects the real understanding of local government for the real needs of citizens.
Numerous topics were presented at the three days long conference, which this year were in the focus of members of women’s associations, members of Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina, defenders of women’s rights, representatives of institutions, representatives of the international community.