Džemila Mujić (25) from Novi Travnik dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality. This is why Džemila, a perfect example of a local activist fighting for gender equality, is the kind of person with whom the Institute wants to celebrate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Džemila is one of the participants of the Institute’s Learn, Think and Act! training, and her local initiative is designed around fighting violence against women and girls. On September 25, together with over 20 high school students, Džemila took to the streets of Novi Travnik to engage citizens and show them why it’s important to join the fight against all types of violence, especially violence against women and girls.
Džemila said that her interest in this topic dates back to her high school days, because no one in her town at the time was advocating for protecting women and girls – not the school, not the community, and not the NGO sector either. Džemila noted the lack of opportunities for youth in Novi Travnik, and the ethnic divide in the city, adding that she is very proud of the work done by the Association “New Vision”, who are constantly conducting activities that involve as many youth as possible, regardless of their ethnicity. Over the past 6 months, Džemila and her team included more than 60 young volunteers in the work of New Vision.
“Violence isn’t always physical, it can be inflicted through other behaviors, some of which are even considered acceptable and commonplace. These behaviors are unfortunately promoted in schools, they happen regularly while you’re going about your regular activities like talking a walk. It’s interesting that women are usually the ones targeted by this “regular” behavior, said Džemila, noting that there can never be enough campaigns and initiatives intended to eliminate violence against women and girls.
While working with youth, Džemila noticed that peer violence is a topic that calls for more attention, as the most common form of violence that young people are exposed to. Džemila is an attorney, currently enrolled in an MA program at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zenica. Her message, primarily for others in her town, is that we all need to work on improving ourselves every day. Džemila thinks that formal education isn’t enough in this day and age, so everyone, especially youth, should take advantage of various trainings that can help them improve their skills, just like they helped her. Džemila’s future plans include opening a center for free legal aid for women and young people.
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. Let’s eliminate violence together!