We fought for our rights, we did not get them and we will not give them away! – Announcement of the Women’s Network of BiH, the Network for Building Peace and the Initiative Women Citizens for Constitutional Reform

Our goal is that peace, gender equality, women’s rights and social justice become indispensable and key elements of Bosnian-Herzegovinian society.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we witness constant direct or indirect violation of women’s rights, in numerous ways. We must end the practice that women are not paid the same as men for work of the same value. The glass ceiling, discriminatory practices that stop women from advancing, the pink tax and the high percentage of women who are inactive on the labor market are just some of the problems that we have to talk about clearly and loudly. Let’s speak loudly and clearly about the invisibility and representation of unpaid domestic work, about the right to health care and the necessity of availability of necessary medicines for all women, women’s political participation and the right to participate in every aspect of life, sexual harassment, discrimination, femicide, entrepreneurship and women’s education, maternity benefits and the right to equal pay for work of equal value. Let’s talk about the invisibility, especially of multiple marginalized groups of women, and remind of the unequal position of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the omission of women in historical, social and political life. We want to make misogynistic and sexist practices and attacks a thing of the past.

We are still dealing with the problem of women’s inequality, the majority population whose voice is overshadowed and silenced. The time when women are on electoral lists only to fill quotas just to comply with the law, without the real intention of women becoming political office holders must come to an end.

In a society where language is considered to be gender-sensitive, and only when it is not discriminatory, strange, unnecessary, pleonasm, we must raise awareness – women have long earned their place in society, in history, in language through their fight.

The practice of asking women during a job interview whether they intend to start a family or being fired if they become pregnant, although illegal, is still present.

The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina does not recognize women or women’s human rights. Therefore, we need constitutional changes in order for Bosnia and Herzegovina to have a gender-just constitution more than ever.

Peace has women’s face, and women’s contribution to the construction of sustainable peace, peace processes and the creation of new friendships remains hidden, like the streets and alleys that rarely bear women’s names in any city. We do not want only flowers to mark this day, carnations are dear to us, but we do not need them just once a year. We need constant, continuous support and fight and our rights, which we have earned through our fight.

On the occasion of the Eighth of March – International Women’s Day in 2023, we say that every day of the year is the Eighth of March, we do not give up our rights that we have won. We do not sleep over gender inequality, violence against women or misogyny. We will achieve the denied rights and keep the peace. Feminism did not fight wars. We say that women are not a percentage and that they are not a quota. We will not stop until every woman is equal, until she achieves her guaranteed rights and until she feels safe in our society.

We must not allow any woman, little girl and girl, especially members of multiple vulnerable groups of women, to be invisible and for her needs and her rights to be ignored. We continue on the path blazed by many strong women before us and say that our fight will not stop until we enjoy the same rights as men in every aspect of our public and private lives and until we achieve a society in which none of us women will be invisible and neglected. We invite everyone to join us on this journey, because equality, social justice and rights are not something we have yet to win – we have won them, but the fight to preserve and improve them continues and will continue.


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