WILPF Advocacy Documents

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Statement On The Occasion Of The Social Protests In BiH

Human Rights | Women and Girls’ Human Rights
14 February 2014
Document type:
Body submitted to:
Photo Credit: Cynthia Cockburn

Sarajevo, 14 February 2014

Statement on the occasion of the social protests in BiH

“The rule of law, including full respect for equality between citizen and assurance of equal participation of women and men in all spheres of live, are imperative for further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina” – concluded the women participating in a conference Women Organizing for Change in Syria and Bosnia, that was held in Sarajevo. The participants of the conference, long-term activists from all over the country, are supporting the demands of the demonstrators throughout Bosnia, and highlight that there is no further development of democratic processes without equal participation and representation of women and men in decision-making bodies, at all levels of governance, which is also guaranteed by the provision in the Law on Gender Equality of BiH. Gender equality must be an integrative part of building a just society. Without gender equality there is no real social justice.

The participants of the conference stressed that one of the demands towards the government should be the limitation of mandates in a sense that no citizen can candidate or be elected for any function for more than three mandates, at any level of the government. This would create an environment where marginalization of youth would no longer be possible. With the aim of establishing mechanisms for monitoring of the implementation of the laws the country needs to improve its bodies for inspection and other monitoring bodies, as well as limit the mandates of the heads of these institutions.

The citizens must not be limited in their enjoyment of their rights to social and health protection by the constitutional structure of the state created by the Dayton Peace agreement. Establishment of a Fund for Social Protection is an imperative for equalization of social and health rights, especially those that lie within the competencies of cantons and entities and Brcko District, which also includes maternity rights and benefits and alike. All budgetary means planned for different reimbursements to governmental representatives should be redirected to the Fund for social protection.

The participants of this conference will present these demands also through the different plenums that are being organized in their local communities.

Signed by

UHD Prijateljice

Infoteka Zenica

Centar za pravnu pomoć ženama Zenica

Fondacija Bosanskohercegovačka inicijativa žena

Fondacija CURE Sarajevo

Forum žena Bratunac

Organizacija žena “Lara” Bijeljin

Udruženje “Žena BiH”

Udruženje građana ,,Žene Srebrenice”

Udruženje žena Forma F

Udruženje Žene ženama

Fondacija/Foundation Udružene žene/United Women Banja Luka

UHD “Prijateljice”

Žene za Žene International

Organizacija Budućnost Modriča

Ženska međunarodna liga za mir i slobodu

Biro za ljudska prava

Udruženje Srcem do Mira

Udruženje prijedorčaki «Izvor Prijedor»

Udruženje «Viva žene» Tuzla


Fondacija jedan svijet platforma za jugoistočnu Europu

Centar za studije o izbjeglim i raseljenim osobama

Udruženje SEKA Goražde

Cvijeta Novaković

Dubravka Kovačević

Klaudia Kuhulj

Lidija Živanović

Nejra Nuna Čengić

Nela Porobić Isaković

Samira Krehić

Mirha Pojskić

Your donation isn’t just a financial transaction; it’s a step toward a more compassionate and equitable world. With your support, we’re poised to achieve lasting change that echoes through generations. Thank you!

Thank you!

Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris facilisis luctus rhoncus. Praesent eget tellus sit amet enim consectetur condimentum et vel ante. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse et nunc sem. Vivamus ullamcorper vestibulum neque, a interdum nisl accumsan ac. Cras ut condimentum turpis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Curabitur efficitur gravida ipsum, quis ultricies erat iaculis pellentesque. Nulla congue iaculis feugiat. Suspendisse euismod congue ultricies. Sed blandit neque in libero ultricies aliquam. Donec euismod eget diam vitae vehicula. Fusce hendrerit purus leo. Aenean malesuada, ante eu aliquet mollis, diam erat suscipit eros, in.


WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

Skip to content