Women’s History in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1914-2014
Sarajevo Open Centre and partners Heinrich Boll Foundation BiH, CURE Foundation, and the Association for Culture and Art CRVENA have started to work on the reconstruction of women’s history in BiH. This year, the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of WWI will be celebrated in various ways. Connected with this anniversary, we hope to represent the role of women before and after WWI as well as during the entire 20th century.
A group of 8 authors has begun to collect materials connected with women’s history in the past 100 years in BiH. Immediately upon releasing a request for researchers on the historical contributions of women to the development of BiH society, a few more researchers who have for years studied the women who individually or through organizations made their mark in culture, education, humanitarian work, the sciences, etc showed interest in the project. Currently 12 people are working on the book — two have a PhD in social sciences, whereas the rest are master’s students in the social sciences. The list of collaborators is even wider because every day we are contacted by researchers and academic professors that want to contribute to the book somehow — through editing, participating in the writing of individual chapters, or through writing forewords and epilogues. This reaction to the news that work is being done on collecting, gathering, and publication of information about the role of women in BiH in the past 100 years in all cultural, societal, artistic, and other spheres of life shows that for years, there have been individual research efforts to make women’s contributions visible. It also shows that there is a lot of scientific enthusiasm when it comes to working on showing women’s contribution to BiH society. When the book is ready, it will be important for us to evaluate it and give our edits, forewords and epilogues about the women who have already been a part of our history. So we hope that at the end, the book will be a result of cooperative work of a huge number of enthusiasts, researchers, academic workers and activists. Finally, the book will gather the knowledge that was already obtained, connect it and create new knowledge about the fantastic women of BiH society so that the reading public can find it all in one place.
Women’s societies and individual efforts will be included in the wider social, legal, economic, and cultural aspects of the chronological BiH political context. In the book one will be able to find information about the chronology of the gaining and implementation of rights (women and the right to inheritance, the right to vote, the right to education, the right to work, the right to abortion, the criminalization of domestic violence and others), about women’s societies (humanitarian, educational, feminist, academic, political, etc.), about the women’s worker movement, about the Anti-Fascist Women’s Front, about the contributions of women ot the artistic, scientific, and cultural spheres of life. There will be sections about women who are from BiH but spent their careers abroad, about women who were born abroad and came to work in BiH, as well as women in the war (soldiers, peacekeepers, political prisoners, and others).
Publication is planned for September, and there will also be an English translation. Aside from the book, this project will also include a mini conference organized in October in
which women from BiH and the region who have been witness to various historical events
will participate. There will also be a large exhibit thematically connected to presenting the
contributions of women to BiH history.