Seminar Gender stereotypes: from the Stone Age, sacred texts to today

Students from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region discussion how gender stereotypes are attempted to be naturalized through science, culture, and religion at the seminar held on June 7, 2024, in Sarajevo. The seminar was organized as part of the activities of the UNIGEM project and was led by Dr. Jadranka Rebeka Anić and Associate Professor Dr. Zilka Spahić Šiljak.

In the first part of the seminar, participants discussed socio-biological and other scientific theoretical insights that have been used to justify gender stereotypes as natural and innate. Dr. Anić demonstrated that not only there is no scientific basis for this, but carefully constructed constructs of naturally conditioned masculinity and femininity have been scientifically refuted by new findings from archaeology, neuroscience, and other disciplines. Associate Professor Dr. Zilka Spahić Šiljak elaborated on the influence of Aristotle’s theory of the generation of living beings, which has affected the sciences and religious traditions of Christianity and Islam to the extent that gender stereotypes have become an integral part of religious heritage. Through workshops, participants read texts from the research “Women, Religion, and Politics” and texts on the creation of man in the sacred texts of the Bible and the Quran to gain insights that there is no defined female and male nature, but rather that human nature is constructed in interaction with various social factors.