The Project UNIGEM at SUM

The Project UNIGEM at SUM

12.01.2022 08:06:15

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185

12.01.2022 08:06:15

The University and Gender Mainstreaming (UNIGEM) project, which represents the university's commitment to gender mainstreaming and a secure environment for teachers and students at universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, is currently being implemented at the University of Mostar.

The project is fully funded by the governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and involves the TPO Foundation and 17 universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro to prevent and combat gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment, and to ensure integrity and quality in higher education. The realization of the project goals will last for four years and envisages research on the state of gender equality at universities before and after the implementation of this project. Regular exchange of information and joint activities will pay special attention to advocating integrity, principles of transparency and accountability; then, preparing strategic documents aimed at preventing gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment at the University of Mostar and creating and adopting an action plan to combat it. Also, part of the signed Memorandum refers to participation in research dedicated to measuring attitudes about the existence and familiarity with regulations aimed at preventing and combating gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment, creating syllabi and teaching materials and improving cooperation with universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

"Establishment or improvement of a system in which gender mainstreaming measures will be successfully implemented consists of several phases which include determining the current situation in the institution, planning (drafting a gender equality plan), action phase (implementation of measures) and progress monitoring phase. These steps need to be joined by the bearers of continuous implementation and monitoring of institutional progress and proactive solutions that respond to challenges in academia and the wider community," said Prof Davorka Topić Stipić, PhD, project coordinator at the University of Mostar.

As part of the project, workshops were held at the University to introduce and present the project, but also to map the situation at the University. Students believe that the legal framework for gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the result of trying to achieve internationally recognized standards in this area. The relatively satisfactory normative situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not follow its realization in legal practice so that in a number of social relations gender equality is not achieved in the way that a modern democratic society should achieve them. There are great differences in achieving gender equality in BiH in different areas of social life, although the situation is much better now than in the recent past. In BiH, as a traditional society, there is still great resistance to achieving gender equality, which will require, among other things, great social activism. Workshop participants highlighted several areas of discrimination: discrimination in employment and employment (standard division into male and female occupations), unequal income for jobs of equal value and the inability to make equal progress; discrimination in sports - unequal pay, rewards and recognitions and common stereotypes about men's (football) and women's (dance) sports; media discrimination - women in advertising cleaning products, household appliances and food products. The general conclusion of the workshops was that in the field of gender equality in the labour market there are still many activities of all actors at different levels - and the legislative framework and business culture, but also changing paradigms in the public sphere.

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