WOMEN IN BIH 1914 – 2014: Reconstructing Women’s History in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Partizanke – Women guerilla warriors of the 1st Battalion of the 4th Proletariat Brigade on Sutjeska, 1942. PHOTO: Museum of Yugoslav History, unknown author

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 authors has begun to collect materials connected with women’s history in the past 100 years in BiH. 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.