BiH High School Students Fight Violence Against Women and Girls

This month, the Institute for Youth Development KULT  joined forces with the high school “Bosanska Krupa” and Prva bošnjačka gimnazija to celebrate Orange Day – Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls.

Representatives of the Institute visited Prva bošnjačka gimnazija in Sarajevo and held a workshop on this topic. Students learned about different kinds of violence, preventing violence and raising awareness about this problem. The students had a lot of questions and dilemmas and decided that we have to solve this problem together.

After the workshop, the students, who were highly interested and motivated to educate their peers about this topic in the future, shared their experiences: “The workshop organized by the Institute for Youth Development KULT was very informative. Since we are working on a project about femicide, the information they shared with us was very useful. They also talked about statistics and helped us understand domestic violence cases better”, said Samra Murtić.

“Through education and interactive activities, we have created a space for fostering a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of this problem. This reminded us of the importance of recognizing and condemning violence against women and encouraged us to think about our role in the fight against violence. The workshop was not only educational but also inspiring, reminding us that each of us has an important role in creating a safer society”, said Hanadi Parla.

Professor of philosophy and sociology, Anisa Džubur, added: “Gender inequality and violence against women and girls is a serious problem today, but hearing what the Institute had to say left us with more optimism and trust in the non-governmental sector, which invests enormous effort in addressing social problems. We learned that each of us has a duty and obligation to report violence, showing that there can be zero tolerance for it. We did an interesting quiz, engaged with our lecturers, and created a pleasant working environment. We walked away from the workshop enriched with new knowledge. Thank you!”

To underscore the importance of this topic, students from “Bosanska Krupa” High School, along with their professor Amna Dervišagić, organized an exhibition featuring fractals predominantly in the color orange in the school corridor. The exhibition will be accessible to all visitors for the next seven days and will be retained as a permanent exhibit at the school.

In addition to the exhibition, the students participated in various other activities such as drawing orange butterflies on their hands under the slogan “When a butterfly flaps its wings, the breeze travels around the world”. This sends a message that it is important to speak up, “flap your wings” and inform your community about the importance of joining together to fight any kind of violence. The students ontributed by writing and sending messages of support to all victims of violence and made sure to wear something orange.

“Violence against women and girls is, unfortunately, a problem for the entire society. This problem has to be addressed, it is one of the most frequent violations of human rights, it is a threat to women’s lives and endangers their physical and mental health, and it is a direct threat to the safety of their children. The purpose of violence is always to exert control and assert power. Unlike physical abuse, psychological violence is often not recognized as violence by women and girls. It takes different forms and includes humiliating and insulting comments, discrimination and ridicule. Another very serious problem is the passing down of violent behavior and trauma to future generations. All this motivated us to “flap our wings” and start talking about the fight against violence in our community, to motivate girls to confide in each other, to talk and to initiate change”, said Amna Dervišagić, who designed this activity.

The students of this school also shared their opinion about the importance of such activities: “Orange Day is an important call to action that highlights the urgent need to end violence against women and girls – it symbolizes a brighter future, free from gender-based violence and serves as a reminder that abuse in any form is unacceptable. The activities we carried out are not only intended to raise awareness, but they’re also about taking action to inform the community. Together, we can create a world where respect and dignity prevail. The students in our school celebrated this day in a beautiful way, sharing short motivational messages. A friend drew orange butterflies on our hands to remind us that we should be supportive”, said Eyla Bužimkić.

“Violence leaves lasting scars on individuals and communities, but together we can bring about change and create a world free of fear and violence. We wore orange as a symbol of our support for victims of violence, but also as a reminder that we are together in this fight against violence. Orange Day is not just a day, but a call to ongoing action and engagement”, said Hana Bužimkić.

“Violence against women is unacceptable and we have to fight it together. All women deserve safety, respect and equality. I stand with all women who have survived violence, and I support every effort to stop this injustice”, said Lamija Toroman.

The Institute for Youth Development KULT has dedicated years to promoting and safeguarding fundamental human rights, with a particular focus on addressing the issue of violence against women and girls. We celebrate Orange Day on the 25th of every month to raise. Through a variety of campaigns and initiatives, the Institute raises awareness about the prevalence of violence against women and girls, educates young people on gender equality, and supports other stakeholders in Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing activities aimed at informing the public about this important issue.

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