Continued Swedish support for the next stage of inclusion for LGBTI and gender equality in BiH, support to Sarajevo Open Centre 2018-2020

The Embassy of Sweden today signed an agreement with Sarajevo Open Centre, on 22 February, in support of the organization’s Strategic Plan 2018-2020. Sarajevo Open Centre continues with its leading role in the struggle for human rights in BiH, with a special focus on LGBTI, women’s rights and gender equality. An additional support amounting to 4.8 MSEK (approx. 950.000 KM) has been allocated to SOC core programme 2018-2020.

Sweden is a strong world-wide advocate for gender equality, which also encompases the issues faced by the LGBTI community. After strongly contibuting to the legal and policy protection from violence and discrimination of LGBTI people and political participation of women during the last three years, Sarajevo Open Centre has taken on to tackle the issues of full inclusion of LGBTI people and women in BiH as de facto equal citizens in BiH.

“We are very privileged to have the opportunity to continue the partnership with Sida. Currently, we are at a crucial moment which opens the possiblities of not only having the legal and policy insurances for equality of LGBTI people and women, but the needed cultural and social change that will advance the quality of everyday lives of these people. This support and partnership will make that shift feasible.” said Emina Bošnjak, Executive Director of Sarajevo Open Centre during the signing ceremony today.

With the Swedish financial support, Sarajevo Open Centre will continue its ground-breaking work with the relevant institutions on policy, legislative and service providing level regarding same-sex partnerships, the right to bodily integrity and self-determination of trans and intersex people, political participation of women and enhancement of existing gender equality and human rights architecture. A new focus will be set on efforts carried out to influence the hearts and minds of the public (especially parents and family members of LGBTI people, supporters/opinion makers, straight allies) creating a more inclusive surrounding for women and LGBTI people, thus inspiring a wider social change in BiH society.