The project "UNIversity and Gender Mainstreaming“" (UNIGEM) is a strategic commitment of universities to ensure gender equality and a safe environment for teachers as well as students at universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.
The project is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and implemented by the TPO Foundation in cooperation with 18 universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro to prevent and combat gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment and integrity. and quality in higher education.
The realization of the project goals for four years envisages a comprehensive research on the state of gender equality at universities before and after the implementation of this project. The UNIGEM project also envisages the establishment of a special body to combat gender-based discrimination at all universities that signed the Memorandum of Cooperation within the project "UNIversity and Gender Mainstreaming". A special resource center will be established at the universities to coordinate activities in the areas of gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence and discrimination.




In the Balkan region, where almost ninety percent (90%) of people profess to be believers, and where secular laws based on international norms of human rights and freedoms are in force, it is important to open space for dialogue, encounter through confronting feminist and religious perspectives, learning and questioning in order to arrive at new formulas for understanding rights and freedoms, especially for those who are a minority. Noticing this need, Prof. Dr. Zilka Spahić Šiljak and scientific advisor Jadranka and Rebeka Anić, created the program "Both believers and citizens" which the TPO Foundation implemented in the period from 2008-2012. year, and continued the Ecumenical Women's Initiative from 2015-2020. Great interest in this program but also the lack of academic programs on gender and religion issues throughout the region were the motivation for starting the FER school.
FER School is intended for anyone who wants to academically question their beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and practices on human rights and freedoms and who wants to explore how gender stereotypes shape the lives of men in the family and society. The school offers courses created in academic propositions (30 hours of lectures and 15 hours of exercises which is equivalent to 4 ETCS).
The goals of the FER school are:

  • Deconstruction of the foundations of gender stereotypes and construction of egalitarian gender models that find their basis in scientific and religious arguments.
  • Critical questioning of religious traditions and scientific research on gender issues.
  • Encourage interreligious learning and understanding through the deconstruction of patriarchal gender models.
  • Empowerment for change within religious communities, churches and secular society towards egalitarian gender models.




TPO Foundation is one of the partners in the EU project  #NeverAgain project that aims to address the concealed hatreds, prejudices and normalized oppression that are learnt through the unhealed and transmitted traumas perpetuated in our everyday lives through seemingly harmless everyday practices. The project partners from Finland, Denmark, Romania, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Poland, Italy will together with students develop and deliver 4 clusters of local events with their communities to test experiential learning tools (ELT) in order to experience the harmful effect of transmitted collective traumas and how they impact the continuation of hatreds and vengeance today. Events will bring together around 200 students and additional 200-300 community members and invited audiences and influence numerous other individuals by using event hashtags on the social media. The processes and outcomes will be presented at the final event "#NeverAgain: Teaching Transmission of Trauma and Remembrance through Experiential Learning", a workshop-based conference, where we aim to attract between 50-100 professionals and young people from across Europe, from a variety of disciplines and fields of work: from universities, NGOs, public bodies like museums and memorial houses, community workers and individuals. In the dissemination phase, we plan to develop and launch a transnational blended educational platform, combining different in-class experiential group methods and individual online webinars/videogames to be disseminated among teachers of all fields tackling with collective memory but also educators from the non-governmental sector and other public bodies. The project is implemented in the period of 2018-2019.


Peer and Gender-based Violence in School (PGBV)

To Project  addresses the increasing number of peer and gender-based violence (PGBV) in piblic schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is supprted by the Norwegian Government in the period from 2016 to 2019. The aim is to sensitize the schools  mamagement, teachers, students and parents and build ethos of non-dicrimination, peace and tolerance. This project adds gender-based violence perspective to the broader narrative of peer violence in school. Gender-based violence is overlooked so far and many do not know what is it about. The project also includes university teachers in order to integrate gender-based violence in education of teachers at universities in Sarajevo, Travnik and Mostar. This the collaborative activities with cantonal ministries of education and pedagogical institutes in Herzegovina-Neretva cantona, Kanton Sarajevo, Srednja Bosna Canton and some schools from  Zenica-Doboj Kanton and Tuzla Kanton.

2015 - 2016

Women’s Economic Stability For Peaceful Community (WESPAC)

TPO Foundation Sarajevo, wit the support of Norwegian government implement the program of economic empowerment of women from varying ethnic groups in the North Bosnian region that was affected by the floods in 2014. This project is the first step in establishment of woman’s network in this region, which will serve as a hub of future projects of this kind with the aim of individual empowerment as well as development of the local communities. These communities will be prosperous as much as they will recognize the potentials of all their male and female citizens in their development. In the period of 2015-2016 the project will encompass several key activities, such as education of women to design their business plans, selection of the best designed plans, allocation of small grants, as well as monitoring of the implementation of these business and their promotion. In addition, women will get education on UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security, which will be the foundation for future peace activities in these communities. Inter-ethnic collaboration, economic empowerment and peacebuilding are crucial parts of this program.

2015 - 2017


Promotion and Integration of A Global Ethic in Education and Politics BiH
(PIWEP), (2015-2017)

As an integral part of the program “Live Values”, TPO Foundation continues to broaden the scope of its activities with global ethic education and online platform Initiative ETOS Global ethic is understood as a program framework for a comprehensive reconstruction of the Bosnian society, which is still deeply marked by the post-war trauma and transition, as well as all societies of South Eastern Europe that share the post-socialist fate. This platform provides a basis for cooperation of non-religious and religious people or people of different worldviews and political options in the public sphere. It offers concrete guidelines and incentives for the solution of central issues of the societies of Southeast Europe, including Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. The main goal is to build a new mindset and a new leadership in education, politics and civil society in BiH and the Balkans region. The key partners in this program are Pedagogical institutes and teachers from primary and secondary schools, young leaders in politics and civil society activist. Initiative ETOS platform will serve as connector for educators across the country who will echange their own ideas and experiences and enable better communication and collabortion of the divided educational institutions. The first phase of this program includes teachers from Sarajevo, Tuzla and Mostar Canton.

2015 - 2016


Resistance, Peace, Trauma and Healing Archive
After several Interdisciplinary Classrooms organized by PILAR (Program for Interdisciplinary Learning and Research), and gathering scholars from BiH and the Balkan's region, TPO Foundation Sarajevo decided to launch the Resistance, Peace, Trauma and Healing Archive program. The program is consisted from two main activities: the international conference and interdisciplinary classrooms in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. The ultimate goal is peacebuilding and societal solidarity, collaboration in the region, which will be oriented to multiple aspects of traumatic experiences, both collective and individual. The healing is not possible without public deliberation, common and critical rethinking about the deeper roots of social trauma, such as collective violence, war and genocide, and without sharing the experiences and knowledge about these concepts and their mechanisms of action. In order to open the process of "de-traumatization", it is necessary to detect trauma, to raise awareness about trauma and its presence, to make it recognizable and to enable each member of society to understand.

January 2015


In January 2014 TPO Foundation launched the project „Initiative for Creative Dialogue and Education (ICDE)“ aiming at empowering youth and women in local communities with leadership, peace and human rights skills to be able to advocate for better social inclusion and gender equality.  TPO will design creative teaching and training materials that will be available online and in hard copies to provide education and trainings for youth leaders in political parties and NGOs and women in urban and rural areas about their economic and political rights. Alongside these materials, TPO will gather young artists to create art works and performances that will convey dialogue and human rights messages to women and men around BiH and provide broader front of youth to be involved in these initiatives. The aim is to develop political and social culture with ethics of responsibility, care and compassion and not ruthless struggle to win and get power.

The Initiative for Creative Dialogue and Education ICDE 2015
The initiative for creative dialogue and education (ICDE) in 2015 plans to implement programs aimed at developing education, dialogue and civic engagement for the purpose of empowering youth, women and men in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A creative approach to education includes programs and materials for workshops and training for young people with a view to the interpretation of ideas, knowledge and skills in their local communities.
The new edition of the five episodes of the comic "NIRA" is planned to be issued in BCS and English. With the new edition of book comic novel, TPO will organize workshops with young people across the country in order to develop and enhance their thinking on civic activism, protection and promotion of human rights and the articulation of critical thinking. TPO will in 2015 publish a book for young people on the subjects of encouraging young people to civic engagement, critical thinking and non-discrimination.
TPO plans to release ten new small comic stories as part of a new edition of "Bauk FemiNauk". The aim is to challenge society to question the prejudices and stereotypes related to gender equality in education, media, law and practice and other importance of social aspects which we encounter daily. Upon completion of the second edition specter FemiNauk, TPO will publish a book of stereotypes.
During 2014 TPO Foundation conducted an analysis of the needs of young people about their attitudes and needs in relation to leadership, communication, employment and work, position in society, and other issues of importance to young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on which TPO will publish a manual called "Personal and professional development - manual for youth". This manual will be the product of our desire to contribute to and support the young people in an effort to further their personal and professional development, to extend their acquired knowledge, and develop and strengthen their potentials, skills and competences to become useful and productive members of society. Promotion of the manual will be planned through the trainings of young people across the country.

November 2014


Within the project of TPO Foundation, “A Global Ethic in a School: Integrating a Global Ethic into Educational Structures and Processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina”, done with the partnership of The Global Ethic Foundation from Tübingen, two publications would be published: “A Global Ethic: Documents – Establishment – Applications” and a reference book “A Global Ethic under the School Roof: A Manual for Integrating a Global Ethic into Teaching Processes” whose editor is Alen Kristić. Namely, it is a pedagogical project and product of ten-year work of Global Ethic Institute in Tübingen, and ideological originator of this project is a Catholic theologian Hans Küng. The project of a global ethic probably in no other part of the world cannot in so persuasive and systematic way show its relevance and sustainability as in our bh society still deeply marked with post-war and transition traumas. A global ethic obliges us to treat every human being with respect, and to a culture of violence and awe before a common life, a culture of solidarity and a just economic order, a culture of tolerance and truthfulness of life and culture of equality and partnership of man and woman. The initiation of integrating educational program “A Global Ethic in a School” into bh schools is a unique possibility of active contribution in the process of reform of primary and secondary education. It is upon this track that the professional team of TPO Foundation Sarajevo, with the help of these publications and in collaboration with several bh pedagogical institutes, would initiate the training of teachers of secondary schools with the goal to introduce them to a global ethic and qualify them that they mediate principles and values of a global ethic to their students in a professional and systematic way.

October 2014

Psychosocial support project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The project is implemented in the period of 2014/2015. in in cooperation with the Association of XY / Mental Health Project as  a part of broader program of the Ministry of Health of FBiH and in collaboration with the Volunteer Centre of the University of Tuzla.
The first segment of the project is to strengthen the association of users of mental health in BiH, which aims to establish partnerships with young professionals in the field of psychosocial care, and to associations to provide administrative and educational support over the next eight months. TPO Foundation has established cooperation with citizens' associations and their volunteers - skilled unemployed psychologists, social workers and social pedagogues from fifteen cities in BiH (Banja Luka, Bosanski Petrovac, Brcko, Doboj, Kljuc, Milici, Mostar, Mrkonjic Grad, Sanski Most, Sarajevo Srebrenica, Trebinje, Tuzla, Zenica and Zvornik) and has two administrative education. In this way, cooperation contributes to motivating youth volunteerism and activism, strengthening professional competencies, knowledge and skills. The whole process of implementation of the program is related to the theme of discrimination and social inclusion of users of mental health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The second segment of the project is cooperation with the newly established TPO Foundation Volunteer Centre Tuzla University, and based on the common ideas of volunteer work. In October 2014, TPO Foundation will issue a handbook "Living on the landslide" by Ph.D. Rejhana Dervisevic. Through promotional activities in local communities in the Municipality of Tuzla Canton, especially in heavily affected flooded areas (May 2014), the Manual will be used as a useful tool for citizens in order to undertake preventive measures and fix the consequences of landslip. In addition to education citizens in area affected by the flood will receive a modest material support for fixing damages in their homes. Volunteers from the University of Tuzla Volunteer Center will organize workshops with children and youth in areas affected by the flood and in that way encourage them to keep hope and continue education.

May 2014


TPO Foundation, in cooperation with a group of intellectuals and activists, initiates the Program for Interdisciplinary Learning and Research (PILAR), which focuses on affirmation of interdisciplinary approach in methods of learning and research in all segments of bh. society.
The aim of this kind of approach is a creation of public welfare which has been systematically demolished over 20 years. It is necessary to ensure valuable knowledge, skills, and competencies which qualify people to improve both their private lives and public welfare through social engagement of all categories of population in order to use human capital and resources, especially of the youth, in the best possible manner. The important step in that process is to annihilate false division between the academy and community and secure an equal approach to education for all. In this kind of approach, we are gathering all existing platforms and initiatives interested in collective work on public welfare, through the following program themes: Politics of memory and creation of social solidarity; Research of trauma in everyday life; Cultural production and evidence of trauma.

January 2014


In January 2014 TPO Foundation launched the project „Initiative for Creative Dialogue and Education (ICDE)“ aiming at empowering youth and women in local communities with leadership, peace and human rights skills to be able to advocate for better social inclusion and gender equality.  TPO will design creative teaching and training materials that will be available online and in hard copies to provide education and trainings for youth leaders in political parties and NGOs and women in urban and rural areas about their economic and political rights. Alongside these materials, TPO will gather young artists to create art works and performances that will convey dialogue and human rights messages to women and men around BiH and provide broader front of youth to be involved in these initiatives. The aim is to develop political and social culture with ethics of responsibility, care and compassion and not ruthless struggle to win and get power.

The Initiative for Creative Dialogue and Education ICDE 2014
TPO main objective is to promote human rights, gender equality and peace building through a variety of educational, research and advocacy of activities with the support of a network of non-governmental organizations and individuals across the country and the Balkans. The initiative for creative dialogue and Education (ICDE) continued in this direction through education, dialogue and civic engagement for the purpose of empowering youth, women and men in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A creative approach to education includes the design of appropriate training materials, workshops, training for young people and teachers, will continue to carry out these activities to incubate these ideas in their local communities. ICDE brings novelties such as book comic novel “NIRA”, which will be printed in BCS and English languages as a form of expression that communicate different messages interweaving images and words on human rights and their application, encourages young people to learn, reason and work, combining creativity with topics on Human Rights. In addition, an informal group of TPO associates named “Brkate” will work on new edition of comics called "Bauk FemiNauk" through which they will question the existing prejudices about feminism, gender equality and the status of women in contemporary BiH society.
In order to encourage young people to actively participate in the public life of the community and improve the quality of life, as well as providing support to young people in developing their knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to adapt to market demands, the research team TPO Foundation Sarajevo will carry out an analysis of the needs of young people. This analysis will be the basis of a new manual for young people in order to help personal and professional development and the acquisition of basic skills of leadership.

January 2013

Empowerment of Women Returnees in BiH

The project aims at contributing to improvement of social inclustion of women returnees through concrete measures for employment and participation at decission-making positions and peace initiatives. Majority of returnee women believe that being unemployed is their biggest problem and emphasize a greater necessity for additional training or education that would empower them with additional qualifications or retraining. Most returnees, both men and women feel neglected and ignored by society in general, which is not able to provide them with employment opportunities and skills.
The main objectives are: improving the quality of life of women through education and training for employment/self-employment and increased participation in decision-making proces,  facilitating the dialogue and networking between NGOs and public institutions in decision-making process, implementation of UNSCR 1325 Gender Action Plan of BiH through raising awareness on importance of women rights in peace, security and reconciliation. 
With regards to the objectives TPO Foundation in partnership with six NGOS: UG Bosansko Grahovo, Li-Woman, Forma F Mostar, Krajiska suza Sanski Most, Forum zena Bratunaca and Lara Bijeljina will organize: six job skill trainings, accompanied by small grants for the business plans, six seminars on UNSCR 1325, on women peace and security, acommpanied by small grants for the best six peace initiatives.
The project is supported ny the Royal Norwegian Embassy Sarajevo.

July 2012

The Contribution of Constitutional Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in Politics

TPO Foundation Sarajevo in cooperation with eleven partner organizations from ten cities from Bosnia and Herzegovina from 01 July 2012, begins to work on a new project “The Contribution of Constitutional Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in Politics.”
The project is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Rights Center of the University of Sarajevo (HRC), and will be implemented in two phases: the first from March to December 2012 and the second phase in the period from January 2013 to March 2014. The overall objective of the project is building capacity of new female and male politicians and increase knowledge of women, especially in rural areas on civil and political rights in order to empower the electorate for an engagement of their citizen rights in public affairs apart from elections, as well.
The project is beeing implemented in cooperation with: Udružene žene Banja Luka, Medica Zenica, Lara Bijeljina, Forum žena Bratunac, Vive Žene Tuzla, Kult Sarajevo, Udruženje građana Bosansko Grahovo, Glas žene Bihać, Krajiška suza, Forma F Mostar, Perpetuum Mobile. In mid-July 2012, at the first press conference, an action plan of the project activities over the next 18 months will be presented to the public, as well as the education of women and the joint campaign of the Women's Group.

Oktober 2011 - December 2013


In March 2012 TPO Foundation in cooperation with two local partners, Lara Bijeljina and Li-Womanlaunched the ''Gender Inclusive Communities in BiH'' project aiming at empowering women and men in local communities to become active citizens, and leaders who will advocate for building gender inclusive and women friendly local policies. TPO Foundation and its partners conducted Survey in eight local communities in Canton Livno and Bijeljina region (400 respondents) to measure political, administrative and participation structure and mechanisms in these communities and to propose concrete guidance for gender inclusive policy measures. Based on the results of the Analysis, TPO team in cooperation with experienced politicians, business women and prominent activists in partner's NGO leaders is designing the Handbook Manual for Leadership of women and men for improvement of gender inclusive policies in local communities. The Project is supported by the US Government, Office of Public Affairs in BiH. The Needs Assessment Analysis is available here.

April 2011-July 2013


TPO Foundation designed the project proposal in cooperation with the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies - University of Sarajevo aiming at shedding light on local heroines of BiH who have been working on peace-building and reconciliation in the last 20 years, but their efforts and achievements were not properly valued and recognized by authorities and wider public. Women's engagements and activities in bringing peace and security significant part of BiH history, but there was no publication and relevant researchers on BiH peace-makers who stood for justice and peace and exercised active citizenship. Women usually do not record their own history and narratives. They used to act and communicate and build horizontal networks and relations between people and not thinking so much of their own promotion. Women are more concerned with results and improvement of human relations and than for their promotion and visibility.
As a result of the project, narratives of women peace-makers will be analysed, and published and will serve for empowerment of future generation in BiH in pursing peace and security for all marginalized and underprivileged groups of people.

April 2011 - April 2012


TPO Foundation continue working on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security that emphasises the importance of including women, and the special needs of women and girls, when negotiation and implementing peace agreements. The narratives of world peace-makerswho have been awarded by Noble Prize for peace will be analyzed and published in the Handbook which will be used as a positive example and model of peace activism all around the world. Based on that material six workshops will be carried out in six cities for school teachers and NGO activists. Throughout history there were examples of good practices in avoiding conflicts and diplomatically resolving conflicts as well as inclination towards peaceful solutions at the level of family and society. Many women became worldly recognized peace-makers and their methodologies, strategies, and ideas can serve as a positive paradigm for other women and men in peace-building.
The Project will contribute to the increased community awareness on active citizenship, dialogue and women's human rights and the participation of women in public life in general.

Oktober 2010


TPO Foundation in cooperation with Medica Zenica in October has launched the public campaign "Test for Dialogue!'' This public campaign is a follow up of the activities of the project ''Increasing Awareness on Gender Based Violence and the Role of Women in Multirreligious Dialogue'' which was supported by UNIFEM
The public campaign will engage 15 participants who passed the training in 2010 and 13 participants who passed the training in 2009. All participants are NGO representatives from Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Banja Luka, Velika Kladuša, Srebrenik, Maglaj, Bihać, Bosanski Petrovac, Gradiška, Bijeljina, Višegrad and Sanski Most. 
Within the campaign, gatherings that involve citizens of different ethnic and religious background will be organized on several locations with an aim to raise awareness on respect of differences.
OUR MESSAGE IS: "Test for dialogue"aiming to discover to what extent we are ready to accept other people and those who are different, and to what extent we want to learn, to grow and to act for the common good.

July 2010- February 2011


TPO Foundation in cooperation with Medica Zenica has launched the Project:
''INCREASING AWARENESS ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE''which will be implemented in the period of July 2010 - February 2011.
The main objective is to increase local community awareness on women's human rights with particular attention to gender-based violence and interreligious dialogue by building the capacities of civil society organisations and religious organizations and groups to promote, advocate and protect women's human rights.

April 2010


TPO Foundation in cooperation with INFOHOUSECURE Foundation, and 10 NGOs, in 36 towns and 105 rural areas in B&H from B&H, implements the project 101 reason to vote for woman. The project is implemented with the support of Swiss Cooperation Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SDC) and Heinrich Böll Foundation.
Preparations started in mid March, and on April 15the first press conference will be held where public will be informed on plan of activities for the next seven months.
Although B&H constitutional-legal framework guarantees equal rights for both men and women, in practise, only 17% of women participate in the political life. To change such situation and to advance status of women in politics, TPO Foundation,INFOHOUSECURE Foundation and 10 local NGOs, joined in effort to conduct largest awareness raising media campaign and education up to date, promoting importance of voting for women, with particular emphasis on women voting for women.

July 2009


TPO Foundation supported by UNIFEM is preparing and organising training for NGO representatives on: Modification of the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The training aims to:
- contribute to implementation of article 5 of the CEDAW convention 
- and Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The project will be finalized with Round table scheduled for the end of September 2009, where both Training package Manual and Book produced by authors of the training will be presented.

July 2009


In cooperation with University of Zenica and University of Banja Luka, Transcultural psychosocial educational organization (TPO) Sarajevo started a Project ''Democratization through reform of education - teaching religion at universities in B&H''. Throughout the process of education system reform in B&H, International Community and local educational institutions are trying to create intercultural and multi-religious educational programs, whilst Council of Europe, in Recommendation No. 1804 (2007) stressed once again that intercultural education, dialogue, and separation of state and religion are important preconditions for democratization of society.
Following this recommendations, and recognized needs, Postgraduate programme in Religious studies was introduced in 2007 at University of Sarajevo, setting ground for secular perspective in studying world religions. Later that year another need emerged - introduction of Religious studies course at undergraduate level, aiming to better prepare and educate future lecturers of intercultural and multi-religious education course. Jointly with representatives from University of Zenica and University of Banja Luka, TPO formed a working group of 12 experts that designed eight syllabuses for eight undergraduate courses for Religious studies program.

In addition, the working group developed eight manuals containing carefully selected texts for each course in order to enable access to relevant scientific resources in this field. At least up to a certain extent lack of literature in B&H libraries will be compensated in this way. 
Paying particular attention to both design and clear structure, received materials were edited in a digital form. Manuals are prepared solely for internal use and any other use in whole or in a part is strictly prohibited. We would like to thank the Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Sarajevo for their support and financial contribution that enabled successful implementation of this project.

April 2010


The project is designed as a pilot of a larger scale project that aims to contribute to the implementation of article 5 of the CEDAW convention:
To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary practices based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.
The project is also closely related to the implementation of SCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security that emphasises the importance of including women, and the special needs of women and girls, when negotiation and implementing peace agreements.
The project is focused on female target groups, more specifically women in religious communities, since it is important to start with increasing awareness among right holders on discriminatory practices before influencing duty bearers in the public sector and other authoritative figures in society such as religious leaders. The project aims at the advancement of women in public life, where they are still under-represented, particularly at the decision-making positions. One reason for this is because of certain cultural and religious values that are used to suppress women. Thus, there is a need to tackle those values e.g. by uncovering some of the myths about certain traditions being rooted in religious texts. By creating forums to discuss and learn about issues related to gender, culture and religion, women in religious communities will be empowered to overcome obstacles in customs and religious traditions in order to be active participants in public life.
Final outcome of the Project is:
•  training-package design for NGOs
•  Implementation of the training activities
•  Publishing of the book based on the training activities
Expert team: dr. Zilka Spahic-Siljak, dr. Milica Bakic-Hayden, dr. Rebeka Anic, mr.sci. Lamija Kosovic
Donator: UNIFEM

December 2008


In cooperation with Zene BiH and other relevant partners, and with the financial support of Norwegian Royal Ministry of Foreign affairs, in December, 2008, TPO lounged the project ''Social inclusion of Women Returnees in B&H'' aiming to enable social inclusion and sustainable minority return of women in the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina with high return rate.
The project will address needs of returnee population, and will deal with problems of highly vulnerable population of women returnees from gender perspective with the aim to assist them to gain rights to pension, health and social care. Main partners and beneficiaries are Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, Gender Agency and entity Gender Centres, women NGOs (4 NGOs), and employment offices (6 employment offices).
The project will be implemented in two stages in regions with high rate of return: Bijeljina, Prijedor in RS, and Drvar, Mostar, Sanski Most and Livno in Federation of B&H.
The specific objectives are as follows:
•  To conduct a gender sensitive survey of social situation of women returnees in order to identify their needs in relation to their rights on pension, health, social care and employment;
•  To increase capacity of women NGOs to deal with problems of women returnees and employment offices to develop set of active labour market measures focusing on women returnees as a highly vulnerable group.
•  To provide empirical evidence for State gender mechanisms as a contribution to implementation of their gender equality strategy. The end date of the project is December 2011. ...


Žene, religija i politika

The Project Women, Religion and Politics was conducted by Dr. Zilka Spahić-Šiljak in the Bosnia and Herzegovina region with the support of TPO Foundation and IMIC Center. The project duration was three years (2004-2005), and the final output was publishing the book with the same title: Women, Religion and Politics Analysis of Influence of Interpretative Religious Traditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Participation of Women in Public Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
The book was reviewed by the distinguish scholars from the University of Sarajevo:
•  Women Religion and Politics is a rich compendium of information about gender relations in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Meticulously researched and lucidly organized, Women Religion and Politics should help the different religious communities to better understand their own gender practices and those of their neighbors. (Rachel Adler, PhD, Hebrew Union College, LA California)
•  This nuanced and profound reading by PhD. Zilk Šiljak- entitled Women, religion and politics, stresses that "mono-functionality" of male and female believers' languages, which obviously cannot be reconciled with multi-functionality" of the language of male and female citizens, has its in up-to-date masculine interpretative strategy for publishing. (Jasminka Babić-Avidspahić, PhD, University of Sarajevo)
•  The author investigates the phenomenon of marginalized political participation of women that is visible in the public sphere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially through the notions of co-existence of patriarchal and socialist value-models, re-traditionalization and impacts of religious traditions on attitudes about women's engagement in the public sphere. (Jasna Baksić-Muftić, PhD, University of Sarajevo)
•  After having the opportunity to read through this book, my conclusion is that the position of our women is like that of traditional religions. The more traditional the religion is, the less it participates in the society. The more traditional the woman is, the less she participated in the society. (Enes Karić, PhD ,Faculty of Islamic Studies, Sarajevo)
•  Zilka Spahić-Šiljak's exhaustive study of a complex interplay between religion and gender, on the one hand, and religion and culture on the other, is relevant not just for Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the research was conducted, but for the whole region and beyond. The wider theoretical implications of her work are in that it shows that the shared patriarchal cultural matrix is often hidden by religious differences between the three Abrahamic faiths, but is ultimately revealed in the similarity of lives of the women in the region. (Milica Bakic-Hayden, PhD, University of Pittsburgh)
•  The uniqueness of this book is in its specific synoptic approach depicting all three monotheistic religions and their attitudes toward women... With such an approach the author is indicating exactly how much patriarchate undermined the exceptionality of all three monotheistic religions and has been as such presented as their inherent exclusiveness.
(Jadranka Rebeka Anić, PhD, Social Research Institute Ivo Pilar, Split, Croatia)
Summary: In twenty cities and villages throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina , an empirical research was performed among Muslims, Orthodox Serbs, Catholics, Jews and others with the aim of determining the connection of religious interpretative heritage and cultural tradition with woman's participation in public life and politics.