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Combating Violence against Women

Particularly in post-conflict regions, gender-based violence is a major problem. All partner-organizations of AMICA report an increasing number of clients who complain of abuse in the family and in their social environment. Three organizations in three regions have set up a network for the next three years to effectively combat domestic violence in post-war areas.

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16 Days Against Violence: Campaign for the shelter in Bosnia

Why We Get Involved  - Violence in the Family and Society

The situation of many women in Bosnia and Herzegovina is characterized by a very traditional way of life. This is especially true in rural areas. Life in cities, however, is far more urban. Many European standards are implemented. Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and in 2010 signed a national action plan to implement the resolution. Equal opportunity commissioners are working on all levels of administration.

This shows that lobbying efforts of women's organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina are successful. Women's rights are on the agenda, the implementation, however, is still poor. The partner organizations of AMICA are well established, operate in effective networks and have wide-ranging experience in the field of women's rights.

Despite all these developments, many women have to endure abuse, humiliation and violence even in their own homes. The partner-organization of AMICA in Banja Luka, Udruzene Zene, runs a shelter where these women find refuge. But many questions remain: What next? Where can I go now? And what happens to the perpetrators?

What We Do - Lobbying and Networking

Violence against women is a crime and infringes basic human rights. Udruzene Zene and AMICA demand respect and acceptance for the victims and are cooperating with legal experts, police and politicians. We set up an international network of women's organizations in post-war regions for the protection of women against violence.

Raising public awareness on the issue and networking are the key objectives. Social workers and psychologists take care of women during and after a crisis, manage support groups and engage in the empowerment of women. Workshops with perperators are held - in some project areas of AMICA this an absolutely new concept. On an internet platform all partners share best practice examples, exchange experiences and present their own work. In 2012, during the "16 Days against Violence", a joint campaign will take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Palestinian Territories. Experts from all participating countrties met two times to exchance experiences and ideas.

What We Achieve - Respect and Help for the Victims of Violence

We empower women and women's organizations which are combating domestic violence in post-war regions. The international network creates new perspectives, promotes ideas and experience and gives a feeling of solidarity and support. To women affected by violence, we offer shelter and psychosocial counseling. Lobbying and campaigning create public awareness that brings attention to violence against women as an intolerable crime.

The project was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and by donations to AMICA.

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