UN Women BiH 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign launched with a performance of theatre play „Perseids“

The campaign dedicated to the importance of preventing and ending violence against women and girls will last until December 10


[Press release]

Participants gathering at the opening event of 16 Days of Activism 2023 in Youth Theatre Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. UN Women BiH/Eldin Hasanagic
Participants gathering at the opening event of 16 Days of Activism 2023 in Youth Theatre Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. UN Women BiH/Eldin Hasanagic
Actresses Fatima Kazazić Obad and Gordana Boban play the powerful roles of two friends in the theatre play “Perseids”, directed by Karmen Obrdalj. UN Women BiH/Eldin Hasanagic
A full house in Youth Theatre Sarajevo at the performance of play “Perseids” opening the 16 Days of Activism 2023 campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UN Women BiH/Eldin Hasanagic
Performance of theatre play “Perseids”, that strongly depicts topics of violence against women, patriarchy, and femicide, at the opening event of 16 Days of Activism 2023 in Youth Theatre Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. UN Women BiH/Eldin Hasanagic

Sarajevo, 24 November 2023 – The campaign "16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence", conducted under the slogan Let's Turn Off Violence Together, was launched at the Youth Theatre Sarajevo with the performance of the theatre play "Perseids" by Emina Kovačević – Podgorčević, directed by Karmen Obrdalj. The goal of this year's campaign, implemented by UN Women BiH with the support of Sweden, is to draw attention to the importance of the broader social community's responsibility in preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls.

Despite significant investments that have contributed to the prevention of gender-based violence, it remains a serious problem in BiH. Data indicates that one in two women in BiH has experienced some form of violence from the age of 15. Therefore, creating a society that does not look for excuses for violence is crucial and must involve all of us.

During the launch this year’s campaign, Sara Lindegren, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Sweden in BiH highlighted Sweden’s strong commitment to combatting violence against girls and women globally, and said: „I want to acknowledge all those who work every day to build local capacity, change stereotypes and behaviours, and care for survivors. But more is needed to help survivors and change norms. We hope that the upcoming campaign can contribute to creating a society where a life without fear of threat and violence will be a reality for every girl and woman in BiH.“

Spotlighting the transformative power of art, Resident Coordinator of United Nations in BiH, Ingrid Macdonald, said: „The power of art can promote women’s rights and gender equality. Artists have a special role in disrupting harmful social norms, and in promoting zero tolerance to violence against women.“

Jo-Anne Bishop, UN Women BiH representative, said that despite many invested efforts, we still witness violence against women in its many forms, including the gravest one – femicide. „Violence against women is preventable with increased efforts and investments to transform social norms and stereotypes, empower women economically, and strengthen essential services for survivors. UN Women, with the support of Sweden and our partners, continues to advocate for an end to violence against all women and girls. I want to extend a call to everyone – be our ally in this. Every effort invested in preventing violence is a profound step towards a safer world for all women and girls.“

As part of this year's campaign, UN Women BiH will reflect on partnerships with numerous organizations from the governmental and non-governmental sectors, and collaboration has also been established with influencers and artists. The campaign partially focuses on reflecting achievements in preventing gender-based violence but also emphasizes the message that there is #NoExcuse for violence against women and girls.

One of the collaborations was realized through the performance of the play "Perseids," the first engagement in the theatre scene for the young director Karmen Obrdalj. She stated that the work on the play originated from her strong need to address violence against women. "Complex female characters are rarely seen in domestic audio-visual arts. We wanted to finally give space for a female story to be heard," said Karmen, adding that she believes that art and theater are means through which essential topics can be communicated.

During the campaign, panel discussions on strengthening community responses to violence will be held in Tuzla (29 November) and Banja Luka (7 December); an exhibition of illustrations and a discussion on the role of art in violence prevention will take place in Sarajevo (8 December); and another performance of the play "Perseids" will be performed in Mostar (5 December).

Follow UN Women BiH on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and support the campaign by using the hashtag #noexcuse!

For more information, please contact Danica Radović, via e-mail [ Click to reveal ].