UNIGEM research promoted at the University “Džemal Bijedić” in Mostar (UNMO)

The first regional research on gender-based violence in academic communities, presented in the book “Challenges of integrating gender equality in the university community: Against gender-based violence” edited by prof. Ph.D. Zilka Spahić Šiljak, prof. Ph.D. Jasna Kovačević and Prof. Ph.D. Jasmina Husanović. The promotion was attended by representatives of the academic community, as well as numerous male and female students who showed great interest in the topics of gender equality.

The multidisciplinary research was carried out as part of the UNIGEM project, which is financially supported by the  United Kingdom Government , and implemented by the TPO Foundation in partnership with 19 universities in BiH and the region (Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia).

The book was promoted by: prof. Ph.D. Rebeka Kotlo, UNMO Faculty of Law and coordinator of the UNIGEM project for UNMO, prof. Ph.D. Asim Peco, Teaching Faculty of UNMO, prof. Ph.D. Veldin Ovčina, Faculty of Economics UNMO, and the discussion was moderated by M.Sc. Edisa Demić, while the UNIGEM project was presented in front of the TPO Foundation by coordinators Ivana Kulić and Iskra Tafro.

In the opening presentation  prof. Ph.D. Asim Peco emphasized the importance of the conducted research, which is now available to be used for the reparations  of social life, especially its cultural segments and education in general. He also explained the multiple values that the publication contains,  which he presented through the pedagogical and sociological message of the research, which is reflected in the need for gender-sensitive education from the earliest age of life and the integration of gender-sensitive content into the curricula and programs of primary schools. In the context of the socio-cultural value of the research,  related to religion and tradition, he emphasized the need and possibilities of reconciling the traditional and the modern.

The research of the UNIGEM project included 4754 respondents, including teaching and administrative staff, as well as students of various scientific fields, and the publication was issued in Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Serbian languages.

Prof. Ph.D. Veldin Ovčina spoke about the publication from the perspective of an economist, a market researcher, analyzing the 12 chapters of the book in all phases, from research to implementation. At the end of the speech, he underlined that silence on issues of gender equality causes fear, and that in life we can live dreams or fears, and the consequence of fear is endangering life and health. He also added that it is high time for a change in BiH society that nurtures a culture of fear, silence and non-reproach based on condemnation and the impossibility of progress, and that we need a “sprint” and not run a “marathon” for that change.

Prof. Ph.D. Rebeka Kotlo emphasized that gender-based violence is one of the key problems of today, while gender equality is a key generator of social progress. She brought the diverse and interdisciplinary topics closer to the attendees, as well as the multisectoral approach in conducting UNIGEM research, which yielded significant findings. She presented the activities and work of the UNMO Gender Equality Council, its gender action plan and future plans that focus on the culture of gender equality at the university, starting from teaching, through scientific and professional research and expression, to promotional activities. She concluded the presentation with the statement that the problem needs to be made aware, processed, channelized, not allowed, not tolerated and ultimately eradicated all forms of gender-based violence that were discussed at the promotion.