16 Days of Activism: Foundation „Izvor nade“ realized the student project “Don’t look away vol. 2”

The foundation „Izvor nade“ implemented activities on the occasion of the “16 Days of Activism for Gender Equality” campaign as part of the student project “Don’t look away vol. 2”, which aimed to highlight the problem of gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s society and call for information and work on solving this ubiquitous problem. The activities were carried out as part of the UNIGEM project, which the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo is implementing in cooperation with 19 universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia, with the financial support of the United Kingdom Government.

During the initial phase of the project, an online campaign “Don’t look away vol.2”, was launched on social media networks through which successful female activists from all over the country called for action, women’s empowerment, and the fight against gender-based violence.

The Foundation “Izvor nade“ also held a screening of the feature-documentary film “Bez glasa” produced by Forum Theater, which talks about the forms of domestic violence. Along with the screening of the film, an Open Forum was organized with panelists who are representatives of the civil sector that works intensively on the topic of gender-based violence. The participants were Zorana Tovilović (Institute for Youth Development KULT), Jadranka Miličević (CURE Foundation), and Ivana Kulić (TPO Foundation), who spoke about the phenomena of gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s society. The event took place on 08.12.2022. in the premises of the Student Dormitory “Prof. dr. Fikret Hadžić”.

 “The impact of violence is serious and long-lasting, and the implications for women’s health and well-being are complex and widespread. Survivors usually feel fear, shock, shame, or anger, and around three in ten women are affected by long-term psychological effects, such as feelings of vulnerability, depression, loss of self-confidence, and difficulty with sleeping. Violence against women is the result of gender inequality, gender stereotypes, and established cultural norms. It is of the utmost importance that the relevant ministries and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with non-governmental organizations and the media, regularly conduct information and awareness campaigns in order to change the perception of traditional gender roles and stereotypes and to inform the public about individual and social consequences of violence against women. Promoting available services to support survivors and informing the public about how violence can be prevented, which includes the practice of zero tolerance and adequate punishment policies for perpetrators, and the involvement of men and boys in the fight against violence against women and girls, is extremely important importance,” said Delila Bajrić, coordinator of project activities.

Lack of information about the existence of help services is one of the obstacles for women who want to report violence. In the fight against violence against women, the media plays an important role by sending clear and loud messages with the aim of informing the public about this problem and encouraging victims to report the violence they have experienced.