16 Days of Activism: Project “Islamic and Christian theological discourses on recognition and prevention of violence against women” realised

On the occasion of the campaign „16 Days of Activism for Gender Equality“, which lasted from 25.11. until 10.12. this year, students of Interreligious Studies and Peacebuilding conducted a student project on the topic “Islamic and Christian theological discourses on the recognition and prevention of violence against women”. The activities were carried out as part of the UNIGEM project, which the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo implements in cooperation with 19 universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia, with the financial support of the United Kingdom Government.

The project consisted of an activist part that was carried out via social networks with short messages from theologians and fellow students and an academic part where professors dr. Darko Tomašević from the Catholic Faculty of Theology from Sarajevo and Džemaludin Latić from the Faculty of Islamic Sciences held a lecture on the mentioned topic in the amphitheater of the Gazi Husrev Beg madrasa.

“Women are 10 times more likely to be victims of gender-based violence, so with this project, we wanted to create space for male theologians to raise their voices on this topic and for our theologies to speak more about it,”  said Ernada Avdibegović and Aldina Franca, students of Interreligious Studies and Construction and coordinators of activities.

“Knowing how to recognize violence is a big step. Trying to remove or prevent it is a huge quest. Every man’s duty is to respect and protect himself, his personality, and the gifts that God has given him. There is no shame in finding a way to your freedom and protecting your human dignity. It is a shame to remain silent and suffer violence,” said Aldina Franca.

This campaign was accompanied by the symbolism of blue and orange flowers. Orange is the color of the Orange Day campaign, and blue is the color of Mary, the color of spirituality and mystery in Christianity. She is often depicted with a blue hijab. In Islamic culture, blue is the color of the sky and spiritual travelers. The blue flower is in the center with the message that only if we put spirituality in the center is it possible to truly prevent violence.