Annual Women’s Rights Report Sees Little Progress

The annual report on the state of women’s rights in Bosnia highlighted the failure to address the problem of refuge for women fleeing abusive homes. The 2016 Orange Report, published by the Sarajevo Open Center, was presented ahead of March 8, the international women’s day.

SOC executive director, Emina Bosnjak, told reporters in front of the Federation parliament in Sarajevo that no significant progress was achieved in the field of gender equality and human rights of women in Bosnia in 2016. In addition to the problems that trouble safe houses, she said that the maternity benefits are not equal in all parts of Federation entity.

“In addition to those, there is also the issue of unequal participation of women in the political life, as evident after the (2016) local elections,” Bosnjak said.

She however praised the Republika Srpska entity for harmonizing the legislation with the Istanbul Convention on protection of women.

“We hope that this will be done in the Federation and Brcko District ad well,” said Bosnjak, adding that it was necessary to strengthen policies and mechanisms for the implementation of public policies concerning gender equality.

SOC program coordinator Maida Zagorac said that the RS criminal code sanctions sexual blackmail, sexual gratification in the presence of a minor and mobbing . This is a positive development, Zagorac said. She praised the fact that a new labor law allows fathers to take paternity leave.

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