LECTURES GENDER AND SOCIETY -Social shaping of sex and gender – UNSA Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Sex is a biological category while gender is a social one, and each society creates desirable models of masculinity and femininity which are not natural facts but constructs. With the aim of sensitizing teaching staff and students, the first lecture on the topic “Social Shaping of Gender and Sex” was held at the Veterinary Faculty by Prof. Dr. Zilka Spahić Šiljak on March 21, 2024, organized and announced by Prof. Dr. Dženita Alagić-Hadžijunuzović.

After adopting the Gender Action Plan at the University of Sarajevo in 2021, the University Gender Resource Center (UNIGeRC) organizes a series of lectures at the faculties of UNSA to familiarize teaching staff and student population with gender equality issues.

Prof. Dr. Dženita Alagić-Hadžijunuzović emphasized that this is the first time in the 75 years of existence of this faculty that these topics are being addressed and that it is important to work, especially with young people, on deconstructing gender stereotypes. Prof. Spahić Šiljak, after an introductory exercise on sex and gender, presented key concepts, including gender identities, transgender, intersexuality, and sexual orientation.

She then spoke about gender roles and the ways in which desirable masculinity and femininity are constructed in Bosnian-Herzegovinian society, and why it is important to use gender as an analytical category to understand power relations.

Finally, Prof. Dr. Spahić Šiljak demonstrated how gender, for example, can be used in budget analysis and other policies to ensure that they reflect the needs and interests of women and men. Attendees confirmed that there have been positive changes and emancipatory steps forward, but that much more work is needed to break down gender stereotypes and scientific socialization patterns that support gender stereotypes.