UNIGEM research promoted at the University of Novi Sad

On October 31, 2022, at the Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad promotion of the book “The Challenges of Mainstreaming Gender Equality in University Communities: Fighting against Gender-Based Violence” on the results of the first regional research on gender-based violence in academic communities, conducted at 18 universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, was held. The research was carried out as part of the UNIGEM (University and Gender Mainstreaming) project, which is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom, implemented by the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo in partnership with the 19 universities from the region with an aim of preventing and combating gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as ensuring the integrity and quality in higher education.

The book, edited byZilka Spahić Šiljak, PhD, Jasna Kovačević, PhD and Jasmina Husanović, PhD, was presented by:

  • Zorana Antonijević, PhD, Research Associate, Center for International Security, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade;
  • Margareta Bašaragin, PhD, “Women’s Studies and Research” Novi Sad, Subotica branch; and
  • Gordana Lalić-Krstin, PhD, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad.

Using a contemporary multidisciplinary approach, the research involved 4,754 respondents including teaching and administrative staff, as well as students of social, humanistic, natural, technical, health and other fields. The research results show that the current state of affairs is far from satisfactory. The ratio of 80% of interviewees confirmed direct knowledge of their colleagues having experienced sexual harassment (SH), GBV and/or discrimination,  up to 75.8% of teachers in the regional sample report do not know if procedures against perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) were initiated at all, 61% of interviewees confirmed they had personal experiences of GBV or SH. Also, it showed that there is no transparent and open communication about GBV at universities.