Activities of the campaign “16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM FOR GENDER EQUALITY“ and the ceremonial opening of the exhibition “DO YOU KNOW?”

The TPO Foundation today announced the activities of the “16 Days of Activism for Gender Equality” campaign, which begins on November 25 and lasts until December 10, 2022, as an important segment of the UNIGEM (University and Gender Mainstreaming) project, which is financially supported by the United Kingdom Government, and which is realized in partnership with 19 universities in BiH and the region (Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia). The “Do you know?” exhibition was also officially opened, consisting of ten posters containing messages of the most common forms of gender-based violence (GBV) at universities, which will be displayed on the UNSA Campus until the end of the Campaign.

The campaign “16 days of activism for gender equality” will include all partner universities of the UNIGEM project, where over 80 different activities will be held during the specified period – workshops, panels, round tables, debates, exhibitions, dance performances, simulation of a trial on a case of gender-based violence, quizzes, video projections.

“The motto of this year’s UNIGEM campaign is “Look, speak out against violence”, so we should speak openly and clearly, stand by the victims and do everything in our power to be able to prevent gender-based violence more easily”, pointed out prof. Ph.D. Zilka Spahić Šiljak, program director of the TPO Foundation.

In addition to the program director of the TPO Foundation, visitors to the conference had the opportunity to hear the addressing of Prof. Ph.D. Aleksandra Nikolić, head of the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, who emphasized that the fight for gender equality should not be isolated but united in the fight against other forms of discrimination.Furthermore, on this occasion, she expressed full support of the Government of Sarajevo Canton in the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination, not only at universities but also in society in general.

“The University of Sarajevo is based on the universal values ​​of social justice, humanity, peace and equality, freedom and independence. And that’s why we have zero tolerance for any form of harassment and violence. Thanks to the TPO Foundation, we opened the Gender Resource Center as the main body for coordinating activities directed against all forms of gender discrimination and violence at universities,” said Prof. Ph.D. Dženana Husremović, vice-rector for teaching and student affairs of UNSA, who on behalf of the rector of UNSA, prof. Ph.D. Rifat Škrijelj, addressed the audience.

Prof. Ph.D. Jasna Kovačević, president of UNSA’s Council for Gender Equality, announced the activities of the University of Sarajevo, which will organize two round tables on the topics of “Women and patriarchy” and “Violence against women” as part of the Campaign, as well as a panel/workshop on the topic of “Gender Sensitive language”. Workshops by Nikola Vučić entitled ‘Understanding masculinity: how to develop gender responsibility’ will also be held at the eight partner universities of the UNIGEM project, as well as promotions of the book by Dr. Zlatan Hrnčić entitled ‘Violence against pregnant women’ with accompanying workshops on the same topic.

In addition to the activities of the partner universities, the TPO Foundation included in the Campaign a total of ten high schools and one elementary school in Sarajevo, which will also conduct a series of activities including movie screenings, filming and producing films, workshops, lectures, and exhibitions of student work on the topic of gender-based violence and gender equality.

The exhibition aspect “Do you know”  of the campaign consists of 9 messages that represent some of the most common forms of gender-based violence directed at the student population. “Female head.”, “Colleagues, smile just a little bit ,” and „How come there are so many women in a male faculty?” are just some of the messages that can be seen as part of this exhibition, which represent the omnipresence of gender-based violence in the academic community. The creative merits for the metal frames of the exhibition display, with bright LEDs, belong to the students of PI Railway School Center from Sarajevo, who made them under the mentorship of their professors.

The slogan of this year’s global campaign is “UNITE” and will include important international dates – 25.11. International Day Against Violence Against Women, 1.12. World AIDS Day, 3.12. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 6.12. anniversary of the Montreal massacre and 10.12. International Human Rights Day.

The “16 days of activism” campaign is global in nature and is celebrated every year by over 6,000 different organizations in over 180 countries, with the aim of raising public awareness of the need for active engagement in the fight against violence. Gender-based violence is present in all areas of life, from the family to the workplace, in the media, in the digital space, and at public gatherings in all forms: gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and femicide. We all have a personal responsibility in its prevention because the right to life, dignity, integrity, and life without violence are basic human rights.