Bosnia and Herzegovina
Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Despite it now being over 25 years since the end of the Bosnian War, Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to struggle with its consequences.
Beginning in 1992, the war came in the wake of the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and devastated the country in multiple ways.
The war was marked by enforced disappearances, genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape, and massive destruction of the country’s infrastructure. Over 100,000 Bosnians were killed and two million more displaced.
The Bosnian War ended in 1995 with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA), which was negotiated between the international community and the ethno-nationalists that led the country into war. Apart from the warring parties, the negotiation process excluded everybody else.
Whilst it ended the war, the DPA failed to create mechanisms for sustainable peace. It deepened and institutionalised the divisions created by the war and enabled ethno-nationalist political elites to continue furthering those divisions, all while financially profiting from them.
Today, as Bosnia and Herzegovina navigates through multiple crises and neoliberal onslaught of its social infrastructure, the country is at risk of socioeconomic collapse.
Dismantling of labour rights, high unemployment rates, destruction of the healthcare and educational systems, gender-based violence, and dysfunctional political institutions unable to formulate policies to advance social justice and equality are just a few of the issues affecting the daily lives and well-being of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Women and girls are being disproportionately impacted by these challenges.
WILPF in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Since 2013, WILPF has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina to advance understanding and notions of social justice and equality.
Our work in the country is focused on networking with women activists and feminist organisations, creating spaces for dialogue on post-war reconstruction and recovery, and shaping feminist alternatives to the current neoliberal political economy.
WILPF has also created feminist solidarity dialogues through which analyses and experiences from Bosnia and Herzegovina were shared with countries in similar situations.