16 Days of Activism: Over 80 events were held at 19 universities in BiH and the region organized by the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo as part of the UNIGEM project

Under the motto “Look, Speak out Against the Violence” as part of the “16 Days of Activism for Gender Equality” campaign, the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo organized over 80 events in partnership with 19 universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia within the UNIGEM project. The project “Introducing a gender perspective to universities / University and Gender Mainstreaming (UNIGEM)” aims to build an ethos of gender equality in higher education through policy development and sensitization of the teaching staff and student population regarding the topics of gender-based violence and sexual harassment, and financially it is supported by the United Kingdom Government.

Workshops, panel discussions, round tables, debates, exhibitions, dance performances, a trial simulation of a case of gender-based violence, quizzes, video projections, and panel discussions were all held. All activities are dedicated to the culture of gender equality and active engagement in the fight against all forms of violence, especially the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In addition to the above, on the promenade of the University of Sarajevo (UNSA) Campus during the entire duration of the Campaign, passers-by had the opportunity to see an exhibition of posters “Do you know?”, made up of messages representing the most common forms of gender-based violence (GBV) at universities. Under the mentorship of professors, the supporting exhibition displays were created by the students of the PI Railway School Center from Sarajevo, in addition to which the TPO Foundation included nine other high schools and one primary school from Sarajevo in marking of the Campaign. They also conducted a series of activities, including filming and creating movies, film screenings, workshops, lectures, and exhibitions of student works.

On Friday, December 9, 2022, on the eve of the end of the Campaign, which ends globally on December 10th, International Human Rights Day, in the premises of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies “Prof. Ph.D. Zdravko Grebo” of the University of Sarajevo (UNSA), a panel discussion was organized on the importance of education for human rights and its connection with practice. The participants of the panel were the students of the European Regional Master’s Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in Southeastern Europe of the UNSA (ERMA), Delila Islamović and Slobodan Golubović, and the panel discussion was moderated by the project coordinator of the TPO Foundation, Ivana Kulić. On that occasion, they reexamined how gender-based violence is present in the academic community, how to improve the relationship between the academic and activist community, and what changes must be insisted on in order for universities to become spaces of equality.

The “16 Days of Activism” campaign was marked by over 6,000 organizations in over 180 countries under the slogan “UNITE” with an emphasis on the importance of gender equality for ensuring and respecting human rights. In parallel, intensive work on raising awareness about gender-based violence must not be limited to the 16-day period of the Campaign. It is an essential incentive for struggle and activism for gender equality in everyday life.