Ending violence against women

 Photo: Imrana Kapetanovic
Photo: Imrana Kapetanovic

A serious violation of fundamental human rights, violence against women and girls is widespread in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and often seen as socially acceptable behaviour justified by traditional patriarchal concepts that limit the roles and status of women. 

An important part of our work to end violence against women involves assisting the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina implement the global norms and standards enshrined in the Council of Europe (CoE) Istanbul Convention . This obliges states to address and prevent violence against women and girls and take measures to protect its victims and prosecute perpetrators. The entry into force of the Istanbul Convention in August 2014 is an important milestone in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

UN Women developed a comprehensive programme to address violence against women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Launched in March 2016, the programme "Standards and Engagement for Ending Violence against Women and Girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina", financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), aims to strengthen the institutional and social response mechanisms to violence against women (VAW) and domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina by contributing to the implementation of the Istanbul Convention.  

Download a fact sheet on UN Women's work on ending violence against women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

UN Women in action in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  • Ratification of the Istanbul Convention in November 2013 to prevent and combat violence against women and girls
  • Undertook first national prevalence survey on gender-based violence in partnership with the Agency for Gender Equality, gender centres, Bosnia and Herzegovina Statistics Agency and UNFPA
  • A multi-country study to map support services for women and girls subjected to violence and recommend measures to close service gaps. Carried out in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, this joint initiative with the Council of Europe will create national reports in support of the Istanbul Convention 
  • Assisted the development of the National Framework Strategy to implement the Istanbul Convention and research for a baseline study on violence against women and girls, with indicators to monitor implementation
  • Supported the creation and strengthening of Medica Zenica ’s Institutional Networks for the Support of Victims/Witnesses, so that those willing to testify in on-going court cases related to war crimes and war rape prosecutions are protected and given psychological support.