The Council for Gender Equality of the University of Sarajevo was promoted
The promotion of the Council for Gender Equality of the University of Sarajevo was held on 23 December 2021 in the Ceremonial Hall of the University of Sarajevo (Obala Kulina bana 7/II).
After the memoranda of cooperation of the Transcultural Psychosocial Education Foundation with 17 universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro were signed on October 6, 2021 under the auspices of the Embassy of the United Kingdom, the Senate of the University of Sarajevo held its 42nd regular session on 27/10/2021 and passed a Decision establishing the Gender Equality Council of the University of Sarajevo. The Gender Equality Council of the University of Sarajevo was established with the aim of preventing and combating gender-based violence, discrimination, and sexual harassment, and ensuring integrity and quality in higher education.
As part of the promotion of the Gender Equality Council and the UNIGEM project, University of Sarajevo Rector, Prof. Dr. Rifat Škrijelj, coordinator of the Gender Equality Council of the University of Sarajevo Prof. Dr. Jasna Kovačević and the director of the TPO Foundation Prof. Dr. Zilka Spahi’-Šiljak addressed the audience.
Rector Škrijelj emphasized that the extreme harmfulness of gender inequality, gender-based violence and sexual harassment is unquestionable, regardless of their form and the part of the community in which they appear, and pointed out: "Their existence in higher education is especially dangerous because universities are not only institutions for acquiring knowledge, but also bastions of free, progressive thought and places where young generations are helped to become better people ”. He also stressed that he considers the work of the University of Sarajevo not only desirable but necessary, and expressed the readiness of the academic community of the University of Sarajevo to take the initiative and launch a long-term fight against all forms of gender inequality.
Council Coordinator Prof. Dr. Kovačević stated that there has long been a need to establish a Council for Gender Equality, especially because higher education institutions have a very important responsibility when it comes to social problems.
“In this way, I hope that the Council for Gender Equality will encourage a more intensive dialogue on the living problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina." societies related to gender discrimination, especially gender-based violence, given the problems present in our society - increased incidence of femicide and gender-based violence, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which magnified all those social anomalies and problems which have a gender dimension. The coordinator of the Council, Professor Kovačević, stated that the Council for Gender Equality has set itself many ambitious goals, adding: "The good news is that the Senate adopted the Action Plan for Gender Equality of the University of Sarajevo, which we are very proud of. We have been working on this document for a long time together with colleagues from UN Women and colleagues from the Center for Research and Development at the University of Sarajevo. Through our joint efforts, we have managed to define an Action Plan for Gender Equality, which includes activities that target the issue of education of teaching and administrative staff, as well as students on the issue of gender discrimination in a broader sense.”
Director of the TPO Foundation Prof. Dr. Spahić-Šiljak stated that the Transcultural Psychosocial Educational Foundation is the holder of the project “University and Gender Mainstreaming - UNIGEM,” and that in the next four years it will work with 17 universities in BiH and the region to integrate gender equality in higher education. We consider it very important, because for the first time we are working systematically, introducing mechanisms, preparing gender action plans, monitoring the implementation and especially what is important - we insist on prevention and building a new general, organizational culture in higher education that will not accept sexism, misogyny, sabotage or any form of discrimination on any grounds. So, a new culture will be built through this system ", said Director Spahić-Šiljak, and expressed satisfaction that the path continues at the University of Sarajevo, which has long since begun with gender and religious studies and human rights studies, and that this is now a sequence of all that has been done so far, but in a systematic way.