During the last academic year, as part of the “16 Days of Activism” campaign, students of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tuzla took part in a trial simulation. Thanks to the success of the project itself, all funds were invested in the safe house “Viva žene” Tuzla. Thanks to this and other donations, the project of installing a fence and furniture for children was successfully implemented. Cooperation with “Viva žene” continued this year as well. Psychotherapists from Association “Viva Žene” Tuzla, gave young people the experience of working with people who have experienced various types of trauma. The emphasis was on assessing personal communication skills and providing basic guidelines for talking to victims of violence.

On December 5, 2023, a public lecture “Femicide and rape in a historical, literary and cultural context” was held at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tuzla. The lecture is the result of the work of 3rd and 4th year students of the Department of English Language and Literature, who consider various literary representations of femicide and rape, as well as historical explanations of violence against women in the context of modern capitalist society. The students who participated in the activity are: Ajla Hadžimuratović, Amina Moranjačkić, Lejla Sofić, Medina Halidović, Lejla Alić, Ema Mujić, Lejla Justufović, Selma Vehabović and Lejla Mulavdić. Together with colleagues in the course “Introduction to gender studies” and “Victorian literature” led by prof. Jasmina Husanović Pehar and Prof. Selma Veseljević, this lecture was organized by the Council for Gender Equality of the University of Tuzla. More at the link.

Also, third- and fourth-year students of the UNTZ Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, Ella Mehić, Lana Stanić, Elma Muslić and Dženita Šabanović, with the mentorship of Prof. Sci. Vesne Bratovčić and the support of the Center for Culture Tuzla – Home of Literature Tuzla, realized the workshop “Women’s power: refresh, strengthen, raise awareness” with students of the High School of Electrical Engineering and the High School of Tourism and Hospitality from Tuzla.

Through the path of self-actualization, research into the history of women’s rights and literature that changes perspectives, together they strengthened their self-confidence and raised awareness of the importance of recognizing gender-based discrimination and violence. The hazard simulation workshops led to a better understanding of the reality of gender-based discrimination and violence in the family and in society. The emphasis was on support, self-respect and empowerment, reminding that we should accept ourselves in our true form, appreciating our own potentials and qualities. Towards the end of the workshop, the participants wrote a letter to their younger selves, sharing wisdom and support.

Third-year students of the UNTZ Faculty of Law were involved in educating first-year students about the legal dimension of violence. The students involved were: Una Pehlić, Vedran Čajić, Amina Kabil, Admir Šečić, Tea Šarić, Erna Malkić, Dženita Ribić and Armina Škapur, thus contributing to spreading awareness about the importance of a legal approach in dealing with the problem of violence in partner relationships.

A workshop on gender-based violence was held at the UNTZ Faculty of Law. Sci. prof. Dzeneta Omerdić led the debate class, exploring together with the students what constitutes gender-based violence and how to recognize it. Also, a trial simulation for abuse within a relationship was held, providing students with an insight into the complexity of such situations. The simulated trial workshop deeply penetrated the souls of the students, awakening their passion for exploring the nuances of the legal system in the context of violence between partners. These delicate cases carry weight not only for the participants but also for the wider community, posing challenges to the legal system in the search for fair solutions in the labyrinth of extremely complex dynamics of interpersonal relationships. The student who researched and wrote the defendant’s defense encountered moral dilemmas, realizing the serious consequences they can have on the victims. This insight clearly reveals the deep weaknesses of the legal system, rooted in societal prejudices.

The analysis during the trial simulation illuminated the tragic impact of sexist bias on police investigations, reviving in the students a burning desire to devote themselves to correcting the flaws in the system and ensure justice. The education of university students on the legal dimension of gender-based violence becomes vital, as a key mechanism for sanctioning violence, and the students have pledged to proactively understand and reform the legal framework in order to suppress injustices and create a safer society.