The OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) organized a roundtable discussion on harassment of women in the public sphere with more than 130 participants, representatives of civil society organizations, relevant institutions, the international community and the public.
“The purpose of the event was to seek recommendations on how to prevent and address the issue of harassment of women in the public sphere. “Participants discussed ways to better understand the consequences of such abuse and also identified the channels available for a response,” the OSCE Mission to BiH said in a press release.
“Women and girls are calling for abusive behavior and discriminatory attitudes, saying that it is enough. “This is a positive precondition for change and it is important that you support those who speak out,” said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “The OSCE is committed to zero tolerance for all forms of harassment and has a comprehensive program. We are working to strengthen the institutional response to gender-based violence against women and girls, and to empower women and girls to recognize and report any form of harassment – especially those that are marginalized. . “
“Significant participation of women at all levels is essential in a democratic and sustainable society. “To combat bullying of women in the public sphere, it is necessary for women and men to work together to overcome destructive gender stereotypes that prevent individuals and societies from reaching their full potential,” said Johanna Strömquist, Sweden’s Ambassador to BiH, representing Sweden The OSCE Presidency which places gender equality between the three main priorities in and for BiH.
Matt Field, British Ambassador to BiH, said: “Too many women in public life in BiH face harassment, threats, insinuations and regular attacks. The goal is to make women feel that they do not belong in public life, that they do not belong where decisions are made. Everyone loses if that happens. We have worse policies, worse decisions and worse policies. So I am here today to hear and better understand how we can all deal with this terrible disease, for the good of all. ”
Sexist attitudes and stereotypes are prevalent in government, politics, the private sector, academia, journalism, the arts, science and technology, and even in civil society and international organizations. With this event and expressing our concerns we hope to contribute to raising awareness on this issue, and ensuring that this type of harassment is widely recognized, discussed and addressed effectively.