By: Nevena Šarenac
Greater involvement of women in all spheres of BiH society is in the interest of all citizens and beneficial for the state of BiH. This was announced at today’s meeting in Sarajevo on the occasion of International Women’s Day, organized by the BiH Agency for Gender Equality, US Embassy to BiH and NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo.
The organizers noted that the aim of celebrating 8 March every year is to draw attention to the challenges faced by women in BiH, and on the positive developments in the process of achieving gender equality and equal rights in BiH.
According to the US Ambassador to BiH Patrick Moon, today’s events are very important in order to draw attention to various issues and problems women in BiH face.
“These are primarily issues like violence, opportunities for employment, equal pay and involvement of women in the political and business sector’’, said Ambassador Moon.
He stressed that gender equality is one of the top priorities of US foreign policy.
“In carrying out its mission in BiH and travelling throughout the country, a particular emphasis is placed on women, or their engagement in politics, society and business’’, said the US Ambassador to BiH. He stressed that it is a great honor to participate in today’s meeting.
“It is very important to raise public awareness on gender issues and equality. Here the focus is on the UN Security Council Resolution 13-25 on Women, Peace and Security. This is a very important issue, given that throughout history all conflicts and wars have exposed women to violence. On the other side, a very small number of them are involved in the peace process that follows a conflict’’, said Commander of NATO HQ Sarajevo Brigadier General Walter T. Lord in a statement to journalists before the start of the meeting.
He said that NATO is working together with the BiH Armed Forces on the issue of gender equality.
“Among other things, we are working on improving living and working conditions of female members of the BiH Armed Forces, and to ensure equal rights to education and training within the Armed Forces’’, said Lord.
The Director of the Agency for Gender Equality Samra Filipović said that the position of women in BiH is not satisfactory, and stressed that this is also a global problem.
“BiH signed the first binding convention of the Council of Europe, the Istanbul Convention, which deals with preventing and combating violence against women. All levels of BiH government have given their permission for its implementation, which is very important. Gender centers in the entities have already included norms from this convention in their strategies. Also, for two years already we are successfully implementing the Action Plan relating to Resolution 13-25”, said Filipović.
Today’s ceremony in the building of the BiH institution was attended by representative from the areas of security, defense, law enforcement, business and non-profit organizations.