Continued Swedish support for the next stage of inclusion for LGBTI and gender equality in BiH

The Embassy of Sweden signed an agreement with Sarajevo Open Centre in support of the organization’s Strategic Plan 2021-2023. 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.

“Sweden wants to see a vibrant civil society in BiH, who contributes to the strengthening of human rights, including gender equality. We see Sarajevo Open Centre as a key player in this, working strategically and dedicated with stakeholders to push the agenda, and at the same time building the movement and strengthening the LGBTIQ-community. We value the strategic partnership with have with SOC and are happy to continue our collaboration for the next three-year period.”, said Lisa Curman, Program Manager, Development Cooperation Section, Embassy of Sweden.

Sweden is a strong world-wide advocate for gender equality, which also encompasses the issues faced by the LGBTIQ community. In its previous three year support and contribution to SOC’s successes, including the first BiH Pride March, cantonal gender action plans inclusive of LGBTI measures, and successful strategic litigation and advocacy that contributed to initiation of institutional work on same-sex partnership regulation in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden is continuing their support to SOC.

“In a time when LGBTI rights have finally entered the mainstream in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and when so many actors are joining our fight for the equality of lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, it is important to steer this change in the right direction, and keep leading the way forward. Our unique position as a feminist organization that brings together the fight for gender equality, women’s rights and LGBTI rights under one roof is a beacon to all others in times of emerging anti-gender sentiment and movements. Sweden’s support will help us to continue our successes, and prevent the negative trends from taking roots to begin with” said Emina Bošnjak, Executive Director of Sarajevo Open Centre during the signing ceremony.

With the Swedish financial support, Sarajevo Open Centre will build upon their work on same-sex partnership legal regulation, legal gender recognition, freedom of assembly, and fight against discrimination and violence. SOC will also undertake pioneering activities and initiatives in the area of socio-economic rights of both women and LGBTI people, and will establish strategic partnerships with prominent actors across different sectors of public and private spheres in order to further gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For any further information please contact the Embassy of Sweden, Lisa Curman or Sarajevo Open Centre, Emina Bošnjak.