16 Days of Activism 2004 in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“For the Health of Women, for the Health of World: Stop the Violence!”
Sarajevo, February 2005 - For the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism 2004 to fight violence against women, an informal group of young women and men activists organized a calendar of activities for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). With a llimited budget but bursting with enthusiasm for organizing the action, the result was a dynamic plan for implementing activities during the period between Nov. 25th and Dec. 10th.
Guided by the theme for 2004 which is health, the aim of the BiH actions was to reach as many diverse publics as possible with educational, inspiring, political, creative activities. We organized street actions, public debates in the Chamber of Foreign Trade BiH, literature evenings with women authors, DJ workshops for girls and young women, self-defense courses, yoga sessions, and creative workshops (arts and crafts). However, our efforts were also directed towards cyberactivism/cyberfeminism (to create lively activities online in order to mobilize even more people). Our online activities included mailing lists, updates via e-mail, clubs and chat opportunities, and open forums and “sites” on popular or frequently visited Sarajevo web portals. These were not very well visited.
We were fortunate to have a volunteer on board who is a professional web designer for his own webzine and who created a website for this informal, alternative and voluntary action. The site was promoted and well visited, over 500 hits since the action began through the mid-December. Considering this was an informal core group and coordinated activities were somewhat ad hoc, we can say that the site was well visited (from all over the world, mostly the US). The site is in Bosnian only, but with many pictures.
The action also included distribution of materials related to violence against women, such as: what to do in situations of violence, what the 16 Days of Activism was, which international documents have been ratified by our government, and how much has (not) been done to fulfill those formal obligations. The response to the action came from all types of media (printed, electronic, online), women groups and other partner groups (conscientious objection, queer, and other) as well as from various professionals and was surprisingly, wonderfully positive and encouraging.
All in all, we cannot wait to do it all again!