Campaign “16 days”
Women’s groups in Belgrade symbolically joined the international “16 Days” campaign against violence against women at its beginning in 1991. It has been developed qualitatively and quantitatively on the national level and through media since 2002, with Autonomous Women’s Center as the coordinating organization. RWFund since its establishment in 2004 confirmed partnership with AWC and commitment to support the Campaign, which resulted in stable growth and came to the level of high media coverage and involvement. By including the group Women at Work in the partnership, to create annual performances, we encouraged the process of localization of the campaign throughout Serbia.
The 2007 Campaign targeted public responsibility and institutional accountability – demanding clear and comprehensive policies against violence against women and implementation /improvement/cohesion of legislation.
On the performance 2007:
Locations and times of traveling performance
- Beograd, November 26 at 3 p.m. (CAPITAL)
- Leskovac, November 28 at noon (SOUTH)
- Nis, November 28 at 3 p.m. (SOUTH)
- Uzice, November 30 at 2,30 p.m.(WEST)
- Backa Topola, December 1 at 10 a.m.(NORTH)
- Novi Becej, December 1 at noon (NORTH)
- Novi Sad, December 1 at 3 p.m. (NORTH)
- Velika Plana, December 5 at 11 a.m. (CENTRAL)
- Smederevo, December 5 at 1,30 p.m. (CENTRAL)
- Krusevac, December 7 at 2 p.m. (CENTRAL)
The capital, 2 cities, 3 larger towns, 4 smaller towns (one Roma settlement).
Closer look on some local campaigns:
– Nis: four local women’s groups took part: Roma Women’s Association “Osvit”, SOS telephone for women and children victims of violence, Women’s Research Center for education and Communication – Legal Clinic for protection of women’s human rights at Law Faculty and Center for Girls. They distributed 3,200 leaflets. TV clip was broadcasted on two local TV stations. Round table was organized: “The first step for improvement of the position of Roma women in Nis”, including the problem of violence against Roma women.
– Smederevo: local group “Women’s Network Smederevo” was the host organization. 800 leaflets delivered. Video clip broadcasted at local TV, and the jingle at local radio. Activists interviewed by three media. Reconstruction Women’s Fund’s Coordinator of Local Philanthropy Program involved US Steel representatives (Smederevo branch) into the event, opening communication for sub-regional support to women’s groups.
Velika Plana: “Women in Action” organized a seminar for representatives of institutions and NGOs from three boroughs: Raca, Petrovac na Mlavi and Velika Plana. Participated in the round table in Novi Becej (they are peer-mentors to the newly established SOS Telephone). Together with Autonomous Women’s Center from Belgrade new publication by AWC’s Women’s Health Program “Violence against Women, my Professional Responsibility” was promoted. The exhibition of Incest Trauma Center from Belgrade was hosted. Video clip, radio jingle broadcasted on 5 local media. “16 Days” performance accompanied by action when 1,300 leaflets were delivered.
Novi Becej: “Association of Roma”, women’s group from Novi Becej hosted the performance in one of Roma settlements. On December 10, they organized in Novi Becej Town Hall panel discussion “Together against Violence”. They announced they started SOS telephone in minority languages. The borough president was present, representatives from Vojvodina provincial institutions and local center for social work and the police. A sharp debate was open of position of Roma women in the borough, on indifference of the institutions to their obligations in improvement, further from the status quo. The issue was underlined by the Roma women claims of interconnection of poverty and VAW.
PERFORMANCE: Do react, until it’s too late!
The performance was documented during the rehearsal process and throughout its traveling, by a woman artist, to be produced further. Another video crew accompanied the performance in Belgrade, Backa Topola, Novi Becej and Novi Sad, the material to be included as a part of the serial on Street Art to be broadcasted on TV B92, supposedly in March 2008.
With Autonomous Women’s Center we cost-shared the exhibition “Offbeat: Look and See Violence against Women”.
Being complementary with Council of Europe Campaign against VAW in 2007, “16 Days” attracted participation of high level state representatives: Deputy Major of Belgrade opened the exhibition; debate on VAW was organized in the Parliament of Serbia by Gender Equality Committee, etc.
Media participation and coverage was high. The campaign was reported in 47 media. Media sponsorship recorded in Belgrade – 36 media. (Data on local media coverage and sponsorship to be collected.)
In 2007 we could say that public consensus on VAW as a critical issue has been achieved! Activists are pushing further for status of VAW as a political issue and for full state accountability.
Funds under control
Quite well planned budget was based on previous experiences. We announced a clear offer to partners and worked together on efficient spending. It was the first time this year that we had official co-share budget with our partner Autonomous Women’s Center. (AWC’s financial participation in the whole campaign was 1:2)
Impact and value
The core three-part partnership, well structured and planned, draw attention of potential supporters.
Interest of new actors and sectors were opened through international institutional involvement of Council of Europe; through art exhibition and the new circles around the sector; RWFund’s local fundraising efforts helped the promotion of the activities, the issue, the model and the actors.
We, the partners, keep alive activist approach to the political issue. Participation has been open to all sectors.
Together with our partners we keep the campaign as a model of cooperative voluntary work for common goal and common good.
Persistency focused expansion and organized publicity paid off as a kind of culmination of efforts.
Previous years campaigns were a school for all partners in creating a broad informal network of women’s groups and other participants, to come in 2007 to sense of shared ownership of all the participants.