Vasa prava BiH, with the support of The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will implement the project: ”Strengthening judicial and administrative response to women’s rights and freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
The project purpose is to support initiatives that ensure women are treated equally under the law and ensure that justice mechanisms are equitable and inclusive of women.
With the ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other legal instruments, BiH assumed responsibility under international human rights law to ensure equality between men and women in all spheres of life. However, much remains to be done to make this goal a reality in women’s lives. Almost a decade after the adoption of the BiH Gender Equality Law in 2003, and the passage in 2009 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, everyday realities suggest that many of their provisions exist only on paper. Although discrimination is prohibited and legal remedies are available to victims, unfair treatment continues unabated.
Discriminatory employment practices, harassment at the workplace including mobbing (repetitive and humiliating non-physical harassment), limited access to maternity rights and unequal treatment of rural and other vulnerable women are among the most common forms of abuse in the country. Under-representation of women in government institutions at all levels and gender-based violence – including domestic violence and human trafficking – are also grim realities in BiH.
A number of social factors and stereotypes deeply rooted in BiH society discourage women’s access to employment and other forms of economic opportunity on equal footing with men.
The principles of equality and non-discrimination form the basis of all human rights instruments. It is therefore clear that as a matter of human rights law, all women must be entitled to the full enjoyment of their human rights. Among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable are women from minority communities, whose problems are compounded by their uniquely disadvantaged positions in society.
In this context, the proposed action aims at identifying the legal provision regulating the protection of woman and their access to justice and monitoring their implementation, hence promoting the development of a more dynamic civil society actively participating in the public debate on social inclusion and human rights of woman in BiH. Specifically, the proposed action has the objective of building awareness in the area of justice and promoting the development of an equality based-tailored justice system.
Vasa prava BiH core activities are directed to the removal of deep-seated barriers to equality of opportunity and outcome, such as discriminatory laws, customs, practices and institutional processes. It also entails concern with the development of the freedoms of all individuals, irrespective of gender; to choose outcomes they have reason to value.