16 Days of Activism: A Panel discussion “The importance of education for human rights and connection with practice” was held on the occasion of the end of the Campaign

On the occasion of the end of the “16 Days of Activism for Gender Equality 2022” campaign which is held in the period from November 25th to December 10th, the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo on Friday, October 9th 2022, organized a panel discussion on the topic of the importance of education for human rights and connection with practice, in the premises of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies “Prof. Dr. Zdravko Grebo” of the University of Sarajevo (UNSA). The participants of the panel were the students of the European Regional Master’s Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in Southeast Europe of the UNSA, Delila Islamović and Slobodan Golubović, and the panel discussion was moderated by the project coordinator of the TPO Foundation, Ivana Kulić.

During the panel, the participants examined how gender-based violence is present in the academic community, how to improve the relationship between the academic and activist communities, and what changes must be insisted on in order for universities to become spaces of equality.

“The big problem is that the principles of gender equality are not implemented in all aspects of university communities. If there are guidelines against gender-based violence, information about it does not reach students. As a first step towards achieving equality in the academic community and raising awareness of this topic, it is necessary for the teaching staff to integrate components of gender equality in their lectures, regardless of the field they are working on.” said Delila Islamović, panel participant.

“There is a big gap between the academia and activist community. We do not associate this phenomenon only with the present day when there is significant growth of the movement for gender equality, but we can find examples of this in history. The academic community needs to be brought closer to society so that theoretical knowledge finds its application in practice.” said panel participant Slobodan Golubović.

The campaign “16 days of activism for gender equality” is a segment of the UNIGEM (University and Gender Mainstreaming) project, which is financially supported by the United Kingdom Government,, and which is implemented in partnership with 19 universities in BiH and the region (Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia). Partner universities of the UNIGEM project held over 80 different activities as part of the Campaign – workshops, forums, round tables, debates, exhibitions, dance performances, simulation of a trial on a case of gender-based violence, quizzes, and video projections.

“The 16 Days of Activism campaign has been held globally and annually since 1991. The campaign ends with International Human Rights Day, where the importance of adopting the gender equality component is highlighted for the general assurance of these. It is especially important to emphasize that intensive work on raising awareness of gender-based violence should not be limited to a period of 16 days, but should be an incentive for us to include activism on gender equality in everyday life.” pointed out Ivana Kulić from the TPO Foundation.