Image credit: Women to Women
The NGO Association Udruženje Žene ženama (Women to Women) is committed to supporting women in all spheres of public and private life.
Its goals include:
- The inclusion of women at all local, entity and state decision-making levels.
- The inclusion of principles of gender equality in educational and professional training of public officials, with a particular focus on the police, military and judiciary.
- The protection and respect of human rights for women and children in post-conflict processes.
The Association's work has become well known for its experience and lasting commitment to resolving day-to-day problems in complex male-female relations, as well as other dimensions of women's empowerment and assistance to women.
Established in 1997, it is an organisation of and for women. All its activities and programmes have a specific focus on women, including direct participants and indirect beneficiaries. It currently has 245 members.
Women in BiH are living and working in an environment burdened with transitional processes, insecurity and deep differences in their understanding of democratic values and their position in different ethnic groups.
The association has run over 100 projects specifically focused on women, human rights, gender equality in transitional peacebuilding processes, security and democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between 1,100 and 1,500 people have been involved annually in its projects.
One of its most comprehensive projects so far has been 'Transition of Social Conflicts', implemented in Bosnia with the involvement of women from Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia.
Most public debates on civic rights and peace and security generally dedicate very little attention to gender/sex dimension. Such neglect in numerous peace initiatives undertaken in BiH has resulted in the inadequate protection of women during and after the conflict, and the absence of female voices in relevant policy.
In order to constructively respond to that vacuum in public space, the Association works in general on:
- Structural and social peacebuilding work on identity, belonging and prejudice in civic life.
- Mechanisms of institutional responsibility for peace and security.
- Facing the past – joint analysis of the roots, course and consequences of the war in BiH.
The key contribution made through this initiative was the mapping of space for open discussion on the diversity and complexity of different positions on and understandings of women from BiH on the concepts of war, peace, civil society, justice, violence, identity, international security and peace processes.
The works aims to provide an opportunity for the many women who have never had one to discuss their dilemmas, fears, uncertainties and attitudes towards these issues.