The Challenges of Mainstreaming Gender Equality in University Communities: Fighting Gender-Based Violence

Authors: Zilka Spahić Šiljak, Jasna Kovačević, Jasmina Husanović

Gender equality is a fundamental value of the mission of the European Union. One of the challenging goals of gender-sensitive policies and programs is to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) in many political, social, economic and cultural contexts. As a global phenomenon, gender-based violence is closely related to gendered social norms and expectations and unfair power relations based on gender identities.

The UNIGEM project included 19 partner universities in the Balkans in order to initiate institutional changes and an organizational culture at universities that must have zero tolerance towards GBV in their environment. At the very beginning of the UNIGEM project, the TPO Foundation conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research through surveys and indepth interviews at 18 universities with the aim of researching gender (in)equality and gender-based violence in these institutions.

The brochure contains a summary of the key findings of this research. The entire research was designed by a team of researchers from the Balkan region: Zilka Spahić Šiljak, Jasna Kovačević, Jasmina Husanović, Ajla Demiragić, Milena Karapetrović, Mirjana Dokmanović, Merima Jašarević, Lana Bobić and Marija Tatar Anđelić. Most of the interviews with women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia were conducted by Zilka Spahić Šiljak and Lamija Subašić. Interviews with women in Croatia were conducted by Lana Bobić and Daria Glavan Šćulac. In Serbia, interviews with women were conducted by Zorica Mršević. Interviews with men in BH and Montenegro were conducted by Adnan Hasanbegović and Muhamed Velagić, in Croatia by Dario Čepo and Nebojša Zelić, and in Serbia by Dragan Stanojević, Zoran Krstić and Vladimir Todorović.