This article originally appeared 10 February 2014 at
Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Violence is not the only problem
The fact that women represent one of the largest marginalised groups in BH whose rights are not respected is reason enough for the Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina to express its full support to the citizens, men and women, who have been compelled to seek their rights through public protests.
They stress that the protests are “simply a reflection of the fact that the political system in BH and the various levels of government serve only the political elite and their clients and is in that sense unsustainable.”
Women’s nongovernmental organisations in BH have called upon the officials and the political elite of the country not to try to transfer the complete responsibility for this condition from themselves to the demonstrators, because the eruption of violence is not the only problem. The more basic problem is how the social context that led to it was created.
In addition, they call for adequate prosecution of the illegal violence practiced against demonstrators while they were under arrest, pointing out that “the responsibility for this cannot be with the police, but rather again with the political elite, especially the government of the Sarajevo canton and of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
“We call upon the government and the political elite of BH to create an educational system that will promote the human rights of marginalised groups and nonviolence, to construct a just social care and health system, so that all citizens, men and women, can have access to a decent life,” says the statement of the Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina condemns the violence and vandalism that was committed by particular groups of demonstrators.
“Regardless of whether we are talking about young people, pensioners, expectant and new mothers, people with disabilities, neglected and cheated workers, men or women, for people in all of these groups Bosnia and Herzegovina has become a country that does not secure their basic social, economic and political rights,” says the Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In addition, they condemn violence against arrested demonstrators, declaring that violence can never be a solution.
The Women’s Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina also calls upon media and public opinion outlets in BH to cease offering a one-sided portrayal of the events of the past several days.
“The young men and women who in the last few days, and especially on Friday, destroyed property and created a feeling of complete insecurity in our cities, are not hooligans and vandals at all, but are products of the state and society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At issue are children, brothers and sisters, neighbours, students at all levels – the generation that had its past and present, and probably also its future, taken away from them by post-Dayton politicians and political parties,” according to the statement.