30 Oct 2014
The European Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI organized a study visit for Syrian activists to Croatia in partnership with the Centre for Education, Counselling and Research (CESI). The purpose of the visit was to exchange knowledge and experience from women’s organizing, lessons learned and good practices of institutionalizing gender equality and women’s rights during the post conflict transitional period. The study trip took place on 27 – 29 October 2014. The Syrian activists came from different organizations who work on gender equality, citizenship, women political participation, and women empowerment.
SAt Centre for Women War Victims with Nela Pamukovic, Director of the Centre
This study trip provided an opportunity for the Syrian activists to meet and discuss with different initiatives and women’s rights organizations in Zagreb how they were mobilizing during and after the war. As different organizations were visited, different experiences and lessons learned were presented. The Syrian participants were eager to discuss the experiences of the Croatian women, how they were able to mobilize during the conflict, how they used to build networks with each other across different borders, how they managed to work on a grass root level and reach out to women, how they used to document their work and publish it. The study visit provided the Syrians a chance to discuss their situation and how they envision it after the conflict; how they can engage and manage their organizations
At CESI’s Office meeting with representatives of feminist portals (Vox Feminae & Libela)
During the three days participants visited and met 12 Croatian women’s rights organizations, initiatives and networks.
At the Centre for Women War Victims (CWWV) they learned about the experience of the Centre to face violence against women during the war by providing psycho-social and direct assistance to women (counselling, self-help groups, housing, therapy, legal assistance, humanitarian aid, etc.). In addition they heard how the Centre built public awareness on violence against women and promoted women's human rights by sharing knowledge and experiences and building networks with other women's organizations. They as well lobby government institutions to improve the treatment and legal status of women.
The Centre for Women’s Studies, the first and only centre of this kind in Croatia, explained how they develop multi/interdisciplinary studies and expert knowledge on women’s issues and provide a meeting place of academic discourse, activist engagement and artistic practice while the Centre for Education, Counselling and Research (CESI) shared their experience from working on social justice and promotion of active participation of women in the decision making processes as well as the creation and implementation of gender sensitive public policies.
The Croatian young feminist activists from Vox Feminae and Libela shared their commitment to increasing visibility of social, political and cultural engagement of women.
Meeting at “Women’s Room” with Maja Mamula. The Director of the Center for Sexual Rights.
At the Center for Sexual Rights Women’s Room was conducted the Syrians had the chance to gain knowledge about how to work on empowerment of women and raising awareness of institutions and general public about women’s sexuality and sexual rights through education, research, advocacy and public work and how the Women’s Room provides direct and indirect assistance and support to victims of sexual violence.
The participants visited the Ombudsman Office for Gender Equality and met with the deputy of the Ombudsperson. They learned about the Ombudsman role and history of the office, their work and responsibility.
Meeting at CESI’s Office with representatives from Young Women Initiatives (Ready to work & Young antifascists)
Syrian activists met also with two young women initiatives promoting democracy, working on the unemployment of young women and against the rise of racism and fascism in Croatia and during the final day the participants had their meeting with the members of Human rights House in Zagreb including Documenta who work on documenting war crimes, following trials and producing reports. The organization Be Active Be Emancipated B.a.b.e shared their experience of lobbying for the improving of the status of women’s human rights at home and in the public sphere and the right to reproductive choice and reproductive health, including the decision of when to create and how to raise children. The Center for Peace Studies explained how they promote non-violence and social change through education, research and activism
Meeting at the Human Rights House in Zagreb with Milena Calic Jelic from Documenta
The Center for Peace Studies explained how they promote non-violence and social change through education, research and activism.
Meeting at the Human Rights House in Zagreb with representatives from Center for Peace Studies