8th of March: Women’s March in Sarajevo

In the beginning of March I was one of the few people to attend the traditional 8th of March Women’s March in Sarajevo. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the roots of the 8th of March celebrations, which began in order to demand more rights for women. Unfortunately, that part of history has been a bit lost in translation perhaps, as it has become a day in which women are showered with flowers and presents, and no political messages at all.

Now, what is most interesting is the reaction of the Bosnian public to this. After an article was published in the media, the comments were absolutely terrifying, perhaps demonstrating why such a march is necessary in the first place. Comments like ‘real women are out in cafes enjoying their presents’, ‘the only thing you should get is chicken for making a pie’, ‘they are all ugly anyway’, plus more aggressive comments with sexual connotations. Some of the posters say: ‘I don’t want flowers, I want a job’. It is significant to point out that in the Bosnian labour market women will be asked whether they are in a relationship or married. If they are but don’t have any children, they will be offered temporary contracts for three months at a time. If they decide to have a child, they contract can be ended at any point, without the employer having to pay maternity leave. So should women here be happy with getting a flower on the 8th of March? I don’t think so. Give me a job, and I can buy more flowers than that, I guess is what we all should be demanding.

And back to the film photography experience: I finally finished that roll of film I had in the Zenit since December 2017: an achievement.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. You’ve got some interesting shots here. Welcome back to film and keep it up!

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  2. lasousa2015 says:

    Nice sharp images. Here in America, we have our own women’s revolution going on. Fighting back against harassment and abuse of power by men. Our country does have laws protecting women’s rights in the workplace, especially so for larger companies. We also have government funded insurance to cover leave after a child is born. In a smaller company, mandatory maternity leave is not guarantied. It is not permissible here to ask relationship status in a job interview. That is not a good feature in your society and it deserves protest, but the attitudes are likely deeply ingrained and will be hard to unseat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina says:

      It is not specifically about legislation, in fact, Bosnia and Herzegovina has some of the most modern and forward legislation in Europe. That is because after 1996, when the peace agreement was signed, they simply copied the legislation from more democratically advanced countries, for example, the UK. However, this is about the legal implementation in practice. And with one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, people cannot rebel against these practices as they need jobs, no matter what, especially women. With corruption being rife as well, it is unlikely that a big company would be punished, even if someone legally challenged them. Bosnia is in a very bad state. People are emigrating in droves. There are many skilled people here, people with university degrees, doctors, engineers, and people who went through vocational training for sectors that need employees elsewhere, so they have good opportunities abroad. I wish people would protest, but there aren’t many people left to do so.

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      1. lasousa2015 says:

        I am very sorry to hear that. It is easy to become discouraged. It is the same here. Every day I turn on the news or read the newspaper and there is more controversy and fighting. It’s best to be in the moment, do things for others asking nothing in return. I find that is my best remedy.

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