In 2000, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 – a resolution that effectively changed the perspective of the international community. It acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls.
Sara Saljic explained the specific challenges of implementing UNSCR 1325 in Bosnia and Hercegovina. After the Dayton Agreement that put an end to the war in 1995 the country is highly decentralised. It is composed of two republics; one special district; and ten federal units with more or less distinct legislatures. Saljic underlined how this complicates the implementation and monitoring of the resolution. Saljic also highlighted the inherent paradox of the Dayton Agreement: that the negotiations exclusively were conducted by men, despite the crucial role women played in initiating the peace process at a community level, and also in the reconciliation process.
Milana Lazic furthermore gave a brief description of the Young Women Peace Academy – an organisation that works in participation with the Serbian government to promote female political participation. She described the situation for young women in Serbia today: It is hard to find jobs; discrimination is part of everyday life; and gender based violence is widespread. Milana ended on a hopeful note, and said that if only a strong institutional and central body is created to deal with gender equality, and with the help of the international community, the Western Balcans will face a bright future for women and girls.
On Monday November 26 the Swedish Development Forum had the honour of hosting Project Officer Sara Saljic from Kvinna till Kvinna and Milana Lazic, representative for Young Women´s Peace Academy. They discussed the UN resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and presented a case study of the Western Balcans.
Summary by Felix Häggström