MONITORING, REPORTING AND ADVOCATING FOR WOMENS RIGHTS(in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the EU Accession processes, and in front of the United Nations institutions)
ADVOCATING TOWARDS THE EUROPEAN UNIONADVOCATING TOWARDS THE EUROPEAN UNION
PRAVA ZA SVE implements numerous activities with the aim of including and strengthening women’s rights in the process of BiH’s accession to the European Union. This includes securing women’s rights through legislation and practice, and active inclusion of women and women’s organizations in these processes. In cooperation with the Women Advocacy Group, consisting of 16 organizations from BiH, PRAVA ZA SVE monitors and analyzes the Country Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina, annually prepared by the European Commission. The advocacy document “Contribution of the Women Advocacy Group to the Country Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina” was prepared and delivered to the European Commission for 2016 and 2017, even though the publication of the report was postponed in 2017.
With the support of the Women Advocacy Group, PRAVA ZA SVE have prepared several advocacy documents:
- “Alternative responses to the European Commission’s Questionnaire: Women’s Perspectives” (2016), published at a time when BiH had still not delivered the responses to the EU Questionnaire, with the goal to pressure the institutions to fulfill their obligations in the accession process, as well as to point out the capacities and expertise present in women’s CSOs;
- “Where are Women in the Coordinating Mechanism for EU Integration?” (2017), the first analysis and overview of this complex system which is supposed to overview the harmonization of fulfilling obligations from the EU integration process;
- “How to Ensure Gender Equality through the Process of EU Integration” (2018), an overview of the progress of women’s rights in five key areas related to European integration; and
- “Reform Agenda II: an Overview through the Prism of Women’s Rights” (2019), the first analysis of the position of women in the new set of reforms adopted in response to the Opinion on BiH’s EU Membership Application.
Since 2016, PRAVA ZA SVE have been actively participating in a program of advocating for women’s rights in front of the EU institutions in Brussels. PRAVA ZA SVE representatives have presented the state of women’s rights in BiH, the socio-political situation, and particularly the findings from the aforementioned contribution to the European Commission’s Country Report on BiH before leading and other officials working on issues related to the Balkans.
ADVOCATING IN FRONT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
PRAVA ZA SVE monitors and conducts research on women’s rights and their position, which serves as the basis for our advocacy campaigns. In cooperation with over 20 CSOs from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, we coordinated and participated in the creation of the fourth Alternative Report on the CEDAW Convention for 2013-2017. PRAVA ZA SVE representatives have represented the alternative reports of the civil society directly in front of the CEDAW UN Committee, and advocated for the adoption of recommendations for the full implementation of CEDAW standards in the legislation and in practice. All published Alternative Reports can be found in the Publications section.
In cooperation with the Center for Women’s Rights Zenica, PRAVA ZA SVE worked on a regional research project “Funding the Women’s Movement in the Western Balkans”, funded by the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and coordinated by the Kosovo Women’s Network. The research resulted in a regional report – „Where’s the Money for Women’s Rights?“, which represents an overview of the current needs of the women’s movement, as well as their previous achievements.
PRAVA ZA SVE is part of a regional project “Furthering Gender Equality through the EU Accession Process”, which aims to enhance and broaden our existing regional cooperation, in order to strengthen participatory democracies and to bring about an inclusive, gender-sensitive EU approximation process.
WE EDUCATE AND ADVOCATE AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
PRAVA ZA SVE has been strengthening skills and capacities of civil society organizations (CSO) and marginalized communities to combat discrimination by using of existing mechanisms for protection against discrimination since adoption of the 2009 Law for Protection against Discrimination (LPD). PRAVA ZA SVE has been a part of group of organization that grown up into the Coalition of Civil Society against Discrimination “Equality for All”* (the Coalition) since 2010.
PRAVA ZA SVE has held dozens of trainings and workshops for communities and organizations on providing paralegal aid to victims of discrimination and fight against discrimination. PRAVA ZA SVE published a range of guides and manuals for practical use of the LPD and existing mechanisms for protection (available only in B/H/S in section Publication).
PRAVA ZA SVE has been supporting and undertaking anti-discrimination campaigns**. During 2015 and 2016, campaign for changes of the LPD was undertaken including development of amendments on the LPD with argumentation (available only in B/H/S). Through the Joint Commission for Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina it has been advocated for strengthening victims’ protection from discrimination. A great number of those amendments have been adopted in the Amendments to the LPD from 2016 (unofficial consolidated text available only in B/H/S).
Under the campaign, PRAVA ZA SVE has been organizing debates aiming to establish stakeholders’ dialogue on efficient citizen’s protection through existing antidiscrimination mechanisms and institutions. The debates are followed by thematic articles of activists and experts published by the Coalition’s portal diskriminacija.ba . All debates are filmed in shot video and available at PRAVA ZA SVE YouTube page.
PRAVA ZA SVE have organized a series of debates on discrimination in accessing rights to health, what led to a joint initiative of activists, experts and parliamentarians to amend the Law on Health Insurance, which was sent in the legislative procedure in the FBiH Parliament.
PRAVA ZA SVE organizes debates “Anti-discrimination policies and practices for students of Law faculties”, where students of faculties from Mostar, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Zenica and Banja Luka participated. Future lawyers had the opportunity to improve their knowledge on how to use Antidiscrimination Law in practice through lectures and mock trials based on real case laws. Shortened video version of these debates are avaliable on PRAVA ZA SVE YouTube page.
Long lasting experience of the PRAVA ZA SVE in the fight against discrimination and advocacy is documented in user-friendly the Guide for Anti-Discrimination Advocacy (available only in B/H/S in section Publications), targeting CSO and stakeholders that would like to undertake anti-discrimination advocacy or advocacy in general.
* Mediacentar Sarajevo, Analitika – Center for Social Research, PRAVA ZA SVE and Vaša prava BiH are members of the Coalition. The Coalition promotes the active role of civil society and citizens in the fight against discrimination in Bosnia and Herzegovina through legal and paralegal aid in cases of discrimination; lead and support fact and knowledge based advocacy campaigns aiming to improve implementation of the anti-discrimination policies, laws and practices; builds capacities of communities and organizations to support the victims and the fight against discrimination. Work and activities of the Coalition are currently supported by USAID and the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina.
** The Coalition defines anti-discrimination advocacy as various activities of CSOs aiming to build society without discrimination through the implementation of the LPD. The primary focus of this type of advocacy is to support the implementation of the LPD as well as other anti-discriminatory legislation and policies or, legislation that have anti-discriminatory provisions.
The project “Student internship: a fast track to a job” supports the reform of higher education through the establishment of a unique model of regular student practice at faculties in BiH. Regular practice during studies will enable students to acquire the necessary practical skills and thus become professionally more willing and more competitive in the labor market.
With the support of the European union, the “Rights for All” Association and UG “Budućnost” Modriča will establish an ERSE network (Education / Reform / Secure / Employment ) that will link student organizations, academic and business communities in order to establish a unified model of student practice based on good experiences from the EU and test it at faculties in BiH. By strengthening the cooperation of the members of the ERSE Network, the project opens a new space for dialogue with educational institutions at different levels, which will additionally contribute to building a culture of dialogue in BiH.
By implementing a broad and comprehensive public and media campaign, the Network will advocate reform and improve higher education. Introduction of the students internships at B&H faculties will enable students to acquire the necessary skills for work, making it easier for employers to select future employees, which will ultimately contribute to the increase of employment of young people in BiH.