Lecture on prevention models in work with youth

Maja Vukmanić, member of Women’s Room, delivered lecture on models of prevention in work with youth on September 12, 2010 in Terme Jezerčica for representatives of elementary and secondary schools, police, military, and civil society organizations. Training “Trafficking in Persons is Our Responsibility” was held in organization Delfin in Pakrac within the scope of the project funded by the Office for Human Rights of the Government of the Republic of Croatia.

Lecture “Violence against Women” for representatives of GO / NGO from Požeško-slavonska County

By invitation from the Center for Support and Development of Civil Society – Delfin, from Pakrac, on October 2, 2010, Maja Mamula delivered lecture about violence against women within the scope of a three-day training “Providing support to victims of domestic violence”.

Participants of the training were representatives of courts, state attorney’s offices, centers for social welfare, police, and civil society organizations from Požeško-slavonska County. Training was held in Terme Jezerčica in Donja Stubica.

Coordinator of Women’s Room the award winner of „MARULIĆ: FIAT PSYCHOLOGIA“

Maja Mamula, coordinator of the Women’s Room received the award „MARULIĆ: FIAT PSYCHOLOGIA“ from the Croatian Psychological Association.

Croatian Psychological Association established this social recognition with the aim of promotion of development of Croatian applied psychology and public acknowledgement for particularly significant contribution to development and promotion of Croatian applied psychology.

The award will be given on October 13, 2010 at the 18th Annual Conference of Croatian Psychologists in Opatija.

Thematic session of the Committee on Gender Equality of the Croatian Parliament

On September 21, 2010, Maja Mamula participated in the thematic session of the Committee on Gender Equality of the Croatian Parliament regarding National Day of Combating Violence against Women. Topic of the session was Prevention of Family Violence: Efficiency of the system of psycho-social treatment of perpetrators. Participants received information about number of licensed persons for providing psycho-social treatment, as well as on the form and efficiency of work with perpetrators of violence. Some presentations instigated heated discussion about the role of feminist approach and theories in work on combating violence against women.

Lecture at the Police Academy

On September 22, 2010, Maja Mamula held a lecture at the Police Academy in Zagreb for shift chiefs of police stations from different parts of Croatia. Topic of the lecture was Violence against Women: Situation in Croatia – the role of civil society organizations. Lecture was held on the National Day of Combating Violence against Women.

Cooperation with the Police Academy is extremely important for establishing cross-sectoral cooperation between police and civil society organizations that work in this area. We would like to thank Ms. Suzana Kikić who has, due to outstanding reputation and quality of work, managed to establish connections between different professions and advance multidisciplinary approach and cooperation.

Training on Transsexuality

Women’s Room and Croatian Association for Sexual Therapy organized workshop on transsexuality. Workshop was led by Kristijan Ranđelović, long-term activist from Gayten, Belgrade and coordinator of self-help group for trans persons for the past twelve years. Workshop was catered to sexual therapists with the aim of familiarizing them with the topic and issues which trans persons face on everyday basis.

Organizational Development of Women’s Room 2010

Women’s Room’s Team spent three days at the organizational development on Bjelolasica at the end of June. Participants of teambuilding were Maja Mamula (Coordinator of the organization), Maja Vukmanić (Coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence), Paula Zore (Coordinator of the Educational Program), Dalibor Stanić (Office and Financial Manager) and Antonija Hojt (project assistant). We came back to our daily responsibilities, projects and programs full of energy and new ideas for future of Women’s Room!

15th Anniversary of Women’s Social Democratic Forum

The Women’s Forum of Social Democratic Party celebrated 15 years with the conference “Gender Equality – Let’s Achieve It Together”. The conference was held on July 3, 2010 in Hotel Sheraton. Maja Vukmanić, Coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence represented Women’s Room. Conference included three panels: “Society in Transition – Challenge for Gender Equality”, “Gender Equality for Social and Democratic Development” and “Gender Equality Needs Partnerships”. Some of the presenters were: Mirjana Ferić-Vac (president of Women’s Forum of SDP), Zoran Milanović (president of SDP), Milanka Opačić (vice president of SDP), Gordana Sobol (president of the Committee on Gender Equality of the Croatian Parliament), Gordana Lukač Koritnik (Ombudsperson for Gender Equality of the Republic of Croatia), Željka Antunović (member of SDP Presidency, vice president of the Croatian Parliament) and numerous others who contributed to the quality of the conference with their long-term experience.

Women’s Room participated in “NGO Days 2010 – European Union funds – role and contribution of NGOs”

Antonija Hojt, Women’s Room project assistant, participated in NGO Days from May 13 through 15 in Zadar, organized by Governmental Office for NGOs of the Republic of Croatia, Council for Civil Society Development, and National Foundation for Civil Society Development. The event attracted over 100 representatives of nongovernmental organizations and relevant institutions. Central theme revolved around role and contribution of civil society organizations in effective accessing of European Union funds.

Lecture at the Police Academy in Zagreb

In agreement with Suzana Kikić, Maja Mamula delivered two-hour lecture at the Police Academy on May 21, 2010. Lecture Role of civil society in combating sexual violence and victims’ assistance was organized for 28 chiefs of shifts from numerous police stations.

This is the first time such lecture was delivered by representatives of civil society organizations at the Police academy with the aim of familiarizing participants with work of numerous organizations that work on combating violence and providing support and assistance to women victims of violence.

Lecture for employees of the Ministry of Interior Affairs

Maja Mamula, Coordinator of the Women’s Room, delivered two-hour lecture in Valbadon on May 25, 2010 for twenty-five employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs working with blood and sexual offences. Lecture Role of civil society in combating sexual violence and victims’ assistance had an aim of educating about position and problem of victims who want to report sexual violence in order to improve the process of reporting.

Workshops delivered in Classical Gymnasium and 1st Economy School

Members of Women’s Room, Antonija Hojt, Paula Zore and Dalibor Stanić, held seven workshops for students of the Classical Gymnasium and 1st Economy School regarding “Prevention of Sexual Harassment”. During workshops, the film “We Were Just Joking” served as an educational tool. This film was made within the scope of the project “Prevention of Sexual Violence – New Generation” financially supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport.

We would like to thank Classical Gymnasium and 1st Economy School for assisting us with the implementation of the project, all professors and students who participated!

Lecture “Sexual Violence – Consequence of Gender Inequality”

On Sunday, May 16, Vukmanić Maja, Coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence delivered lecture “Sexual Violence – Consequence of Gender Inequality” for pupils from Pakrac High School. Two-day training “Sex and gender equality – challenges and possibilities” was organized by nongovernmental organization “Delphin Pakrac” which invited Women’s Room member to introduce sexual violence s a consequence of the position of women in the society. Twelve pupils along with expert associate of Pakrac High School participated in the training.

Maja Mamula in spot against homophobia by organization Iskorak

Maja Mamula from Women’s Room participated in spot against homophobia organized by the organization Iskorak regarding the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17. Apart from Maja, numerous public persons participated and expressed their attitude against homophobia: Nives Celzijus, Daniel Delale, Ella Dvornik, Mirela Holy, Nataša Janjić, Željka Jelavić, Mario Kovač, Ida Prester, Vesna Pusić, Sanja Sarnavka i Aleksandar Štulhofer.

Seminar for military police personnel

Office for Human Rights of the Government of the Republic of Croatia organized a seminar for military police personnel, departing on the mission to Afghanistan, on May 12 in Army Base Croatia. Lecturers of the seminar were Danijela Gaube, Office for Human Rights, Lidija Pentavec, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Maja Vukmanić, member of Women’s Room.

Seminar served to educate military police personnel about the system of prevention of trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Croatia and psychological consequences of trafficking in human beings.

Workshops “Prevention of Sexual Harassment” held

Women’s Room’s members, Vukmanić Maja and Antonija Hojt, delivered five workshops for students of 3rd Economy Gymnasium on prevention of sexual harassment. Workshops were implemented as a part of the project “Prevention of Sexual Violence – New Generation” financially supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. The film “We Were Just Joking”, which also came as an outcome of the project, was used as educational tool during workshops.

We would like to thank 3rd Economy Gymnasium for assisting us with the implementation of the project, all professors and students who participated!

Conference „Reaching out to change – A place for exchange, networking and inspiration“

Kvinna till Kvinna organized conference „Reaching out to change – A place for exchange, networking and inspiration“ in Bečići, Montenegro from May 6 through 8. There were 120 participants from non-governmental organizations from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Israel, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Sweden. Conference was focused on issues of mobilization of wider community, relevant institutions, security of members of nongovernmental organizations, visibility and it influence on the impact made on community using expertise and experience of all conference participants. Vukmanić Maja, Coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence, represented Women’s Room at the conference.

Educational film “We were just joking!” made

On Sunday, March 27, 2010, the hallway of the Women’s Room served as a hallway of a secondary school in which future actresses and actors from the Acting School of the Zagreb Youth Theater, under the guidance of Lada Bonacci, acted out their first film roles. Film titled “We were just joking!” was made as a part of the project “Prevention of sexual violence – new generation” funded by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport. It will be used as educational material for workshops about the prevention of sexual harassment.Film was directed by Boris Krstinić, scriptwriter was Ivana Karačonji, in cooperation with Jelena Bičanić, Maja Mamula, Maja Vukmanić and Jadranka Žarković. Videorapher was Tomislav Mareković, editing and audio work was made by Costa Ipsa with the editing assistant Danilo Cakovic.

  Ella Bogardi, Filip Jurković, Sven Ložnjak, Nikola Nedić,

Dora Palić, Nika Stanko i Damjan Krstinić

Training “Prevention of sexual harassment among youth” organized for students

Two-day training for students was held on March 26 and 27, 2010 within the scope of the project “Prevention of sexual violence – new generation”, funded by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport. The training was focused on the issue of sexual harassment among youth and methods of work with youth. Training was led by Women’s Room’s members, Maja Vukmanić (Coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence) and Antonija Hojt (project assistant).We would like to express thanks to all volunteers who participated in the training and who will continue working in the Women’s Room: Dora Dobrica, Ana Horvat, Dajana Jurinčić, Marija Lokin, Tea Brezinščak, Jelena Perak, Valentina Popović, Zrinka Ivanković, Katia Čolakovac, Lana Žigić, Ana Nekić, Maja Jagar, Eva Šmit, Ivana Peri, Bernarda Barbarić and Aleksandra Pijuko!

International Women’s Day

Women’s Room has joined protest action for March 8 this year as well. The action was organized by Women’s Network of Croatia with a motto: Unfulfilled women’s rights – state’s debt to women. The action started on Women’s Day at 11 am in front of the Kamenita Vrata (Stone Gate). The march continued to Ban Jelačić Square where demands were presented.

Maja Mamula presented with the award for the Zagreb Female Citizen of the Year

On the International Women’s Day, March 8, Maja Mamula was presented with the award for the Zagreb Female Citizen of the Year in the Old Town Hall. President of the City Assembly Boris Šprem and the Mayor of the City of Zagreb, Milan Bandić spoke about Maja Mamula’s work and recognition. Maja Mamula emphasized the importance of this award for the entire Women’s Room Team that works on combatting of sexual vilence and victims’ assistance. This award is also significant for everyone who works on affirmation and protection of women’s human rights.The program was facilitated by actress Zrinka Cvitšić who, at the beginning of the ceremony, read a poem “My short Skirt” by Eve Ensler. The end of the program was magnified by her colleague Jasna Bilušić who performed few songs with piano and doublebass.

Attendees of the ceremony, apart from members of the City Assembly, were representatives of the City of Zagreb, the Government, the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, civil society organizations as well as previous awardees and numerous friends.

Coordinator of Women’s Room – Female Citizen of the Year of Zagreb

At today’s meeting (February 11, 2010), the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb decided to award Maja Mamula, Women’s Room Coordinator, on March 8 with the Zagreb’s Female Citizen of the Year award. As explained in the criteria for the award, the award Female Citizen of the Year of Zagreb is awarded to female citizens of the City of Zagreb who have, through their activities, significantly contributed to the affirmation of women in the society and the public, affirmation of women’s human rights and gender equality as well as achieved visible results in raising the quality of life of women in the City of Zagreb in terms of economic, social, humanitarian or other status.
(Foto: Marko Lukunić/Pixsell, Večernji list)

Why women don’t report violence or who is Lisbeth Salander?

Lisbeth Salander is the main female character of the European novel that is current bestseller, trilogy Millenium. Why write about the novel, about the main character from some novel on the blog that is supposed to deal with feminism, violence… I decided to write about this novel because it deals with violence against women, and it seems to provide good answer to the first question in the title. Lisbeth Salander is a victim of violence. As a child she was witness of domestic violence, and later victim of sexual violence. Despite of this, she manages to survive and take control over her life.

The full text by Paula Zore is available on our blog (Croatian lanuguage only).

Promotion of a magazine and film about trafficking in persons organized in the Classical Gymnasium

On January 28, 2010, promotion of a magazine and film about trafficking in persons was organized in the Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb. The magazine “Stop trafficking in persons – we are still fighting” and the short film “Without the text” represent a result of the Women’s Room’s project “Sensitize! Raise awareness! Participate! – S.O.S.”. This project is sponsored by the Office for Human Rights of the Government of Croatia. So far, we have delivered 9 workshops for over 100 pupils about issues of trafficking in persons. The magazine and the film were entirely created by members of Kino Club Noema that is active in the Gymnasium. Speakers at the promotion included Anđelka Dukat, director of the ClassicalGymnasium, Ana Đordić, coordinator of the Kino Club Noema and Maja Vukmanić from Women’s Room, coordinator of the project.

Coordinator of Women’s Room nominated for Female Citizen of the Year of Zagreb

As explained in the Prize description on website of the City of Zagreb, the prize Female Citizen of the Year of Zagreb is awarded to female citizens of the City of Zagreb who have, through their activities, significantly contributed to the affirmation of women in the society and the public, affirmation of women’s human rights and gender equality as well as achieved visible results in raising the quality of life of women in the City of Zagreb in terms of economic, social, humanitarian or other status.

The award is presented on the International Women’s Day, on March 8.

This award is a nice symbolic practice that emphasizes importance of work on gender equality and serves as a recognition and support of everyone who works on these issues.

Training in Pristina about women’s sexuality

Maja Mamula, Women’s Room and Željka Jelavić, Center for Women’s Studies delivered a three-day training “Women’s Sexuality” in Pristina (December 11-14, 2009).Training was organized by representatives of Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna and participants came from women’s organizations from Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro.Topics of the training were related to women’s sexuality, including women’s bodies, sexual and reproductive rights and sexual violence.

Very beneficial part of the training was exchange of experience between more than 20 participants who came from different countries in the region and represented different cultural and/or national groups as well as diverse sexual orientations.

Imago received the first Eurobest Award for Croatia with interactive print ad for Women’s Room

Imago group was pleased last week (November 27, 2009) to receive festival acknowledgements. Over 4000 works from 35 countries participated in the Dutch Eurobest, the European award ceremony. Interactive print ad for Women’s Room received bronze award in the category of creative use of media.  This is the first award for Croatia at this prestigious festival.

 

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Round table “Sexual Violence – Need for the Standardization of Practices”

Women’s Room, together with Commission on Gender Equality of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb organized the round table “Sexual Violence – Need for the Standardization of Practices”. The round table was organized in regards to the International Day against Violence against Women on November 24, 2009 in hotel Sheraton.Participants of the round table were representatives of relevant governmental institutions and civil society organizations.

Apart from defining main problems in the area of combating sexual violence and victims’ protection, discussion revolved around possibilities and the need for standardizing practice of all relevant stakeholders in reporting and processing sexual violence as well as providing assistance and support to victims.

This round table was financially supported by the European Commission, Embassy of Noeway in Croatia and City of Zagreb – Office for Social Protection and Persons with Disabilities.
More information at Women’s Room’s blog.

 

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

17th Annual Conference of Croatian Psychologists (Split, November 11-14, 2009)

Members of Women’s Room actively participated at the 17th Annual Conference of Croatian Psychologists in Split. In the scope of the Symposium of the Section for Psychology of Sexuality titled The Field of Sexuality: Personal and Social Responsibility, we held 4 presentations:

    • PROBLEM OF INFERTILITY AND BOUNDARIES OF RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSION (Ida Šamanović, Jasna Belamarić, Voljana Kapelina, Kristina Rogale Plazonić)
    • POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER IN RAPE VICTIMS (Goran Arbanas, Maja Mamula)
    • EXPERIENCE IN WORK WITH VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE (Ida Šamanović)
    • CENTER FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE: SPECIFIC ISSUES FROM WORK EXPERIENCE (Ivana Dijanić Plašć, Maja Mamula, Maja Vukmanić, Iva Prskalo)
    • EXPERIENCES OF VIOLENCE OF LGBT CLIENTS (Iva Žegura, Dalibor Stanić)
    • SEXUAL EDUCATION OF YOUTH: RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS, SCHOOLS, CHURCH OR SOCIETY? (Asja Zenko, Iva Prskalo)

We are happy to say that presentations were excellent and over 90 psychologists in the audience expressed interest for our presentations. We would like to thank psychiatrist Goran Arbanas from the General hospital in Karlovac for cooperation.

Apart from participating in the Symposium, we organized a round table TWO FOUNDATION STONES IN THE WORK WITH WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE: INSTITUTIONAL AND NON-INSTITUTIONAL ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT (Maja Mamula, Ivana Dijanić Plašć, Gordana Sobol). Round table was attended by 12 psychologists who encounter women victims of different forms of violence in their everyday work. We had excellent discussion, exchange of experience and plans for development of cooperation.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Lecture on sexual violence for representatives of relevant institutions in Virovitica

Maja Mamula from the Women’s Room was invited by SOS Virovitica to deliver a lecture about sexual violence, forms, prevalence and results as well as a need for standardization of the practice in work with victims of sexual violence. Lecture was held on October 24, 2009, for representatives of relevant institutions such as police, State Attorney’s Office, courts, hospitals and Centers for Social Welfare.

Shadow Report “The Violations of the Rights of LGBT Persons in Croatia” submitted to the UN

Global Rights and International Human Rights Clinic (Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School) have submitted, together with Lesbian Organization Rijeka “LORI”, Organization Zagreb Pride and Women’s Room, report “The Violations of the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in Croatia” for the occasion of 97th Session of the Human Rights Committee on October 14 and 15, 2009, in Geneva. This report offers an evaluation of Croatia’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), particularly in regard to the protection of LGBT persons in Croatia.

8th meeting of the Network of Cooperation between Governmental Institutions and NGOs

8th meeting of the Network of Cooperation between Governmental Institutions and Nongovernmental Organizations against Sexual Violence was organized by the Women’s Room on October 23 – 24, 2009, in Terme Jezerčica. The Network of Cooperation has been active for eleven years and has over thirty members representing police, judiciary system, hospitals, centers for social welfare, schools and nongovernmental organizations.

Results of meetings/seminars held in the past are: creation of quality network between representatives of different institutions and organization; accessibility of information needed for improvement of work; development of the Code of Conduct in Cases of Sexual Violence in schools; development of the document “Recommendations for Changes regarding Sexual Violence: Legislative Changes, Victims’ Protection and Development of Prevention Programs”; as well as work on solving concrete cases from everyday work.

Emphasis of the meeting was: continuation of the work on the Code of Conduct in Cases of Sexual Violence that has been developed in the scope of the Working group for Development of the Analysis and Action Plan for Combating All Forms of Violence against Women with the Governmental Office for Gender Equality of the Republic of Croatia; duties and recommendations of specific institutions contained in the Code; as well as further development of public policies for combating of sexual violence and development of the efficient models for victims’ protection and development of prevention programs.

Meeting was held in the scope of the project “Zero tolerance towards sexual violence” supported by the European Commission and the Norwegian Embassy in Zagreb.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

13 th Annual ILGA-Europe Conference on Malta

13th annual ILGA-Europe (European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association) conference was held on Malta from October 29 through November 1, 2009. Topic of the conference was: “Overcoming Cultural and Religious Barriers to LGBT Equality”. Representative of the Women’s Room, Dalibor Stanić, attended the conference with more than 300 participants from 48 countries. Apart from topics related to religious and cultural barriers that additionally impact violations of human rights of LGBTIQ persons in different countries, conference was focused on numerous issues pertinent to LGBTIQ persons, specifically about needs of the seniors. Welcoming speeches and reflections on LGBTIQ issues were presented by members of the European Parliament and Parliament of the Republic of Malta.

Marking the European Day of Combating Trafficking of Human Beings

In honor of the European Day of Combating Trafficking of Human Beings on October 18, the Women’s Room participated in a public gathering on Flowers Square. The Governmental Office for Human Rights organized the gathering. The Women’s Room, together with representatives of other organizations from the PETRA Network (a network of nongovernmental organizations that focus on the prevention and elimination of trafficking in women and children), informed the public about the issue of trafficking in persons and distributed informational materials that have been created over our many years of working on these issues.

“The Need for a Standardized Protocol for the Conduct of Institutions in Cases of Sexual Violence”

The Women’s Room – The Center for Sexual Rights, in cooperation with the S.O.S. Virovitica association, organized a round table on October 9 in the premises of the Family Center Virovitica. Facilitators were Maja Mamula, the Women’s Room coordinator and Desa Kolesarić, president of S.O.S. Virovitica. Participants included Maja Vukmanić, coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence and Irena Sartra, advisor to the Governmental Office for Gender Equality, as well as representatives of nongovernmental organizations and other relevant institutions who are directly or indirectly involved in work with victims of sexual violence. This round table was made possible through the financial support of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development.

Sexual Violence – Introducing the issue to the institutions of Vukovarsko-srijemska County

Women’s Room – Center for Sexual Rights, in cooperation with Ružica Mandić, organized a round table in Vukovar on September 22, 2009 in connection with the National Day of Combating Violence against Women. Maja Mamula, Women’s Room’s Coordinator and Ružica Mandić, activist and a feminist, facilitated the round table. There were 17 participants from state institutions of the Vukovarsko-srijemska County. The round table was enabled through the support of the European Commission and the National Foundation for Civil Society Development.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Workshop held for members of the multidisciplinary team for combating trafficking in human beings

Maja Mamula delivered a workshop titled: “Trafficking in persons and sexual violence” on September 4, 2009 in Jezerčica. This workshop was a segment of the training organized for 16 members of multidisciplinary team for combating trafficking in human persons of  Požeško-slavonska County. Training “Multidisciplinary team as a generator of prevention of trafficking in persons and education” was organized by Association Delfin from Pakrac.

The Women’s Room is launching media campaign “STOP Sexual Violence”

The Women’s Room – Center for Sexual Rights is launching media campaign “STOP Sexual Violence”. Campaign will be organized in cooperation with the best Croatian design and marketing agencies such as Fingere, Imago, McCann Erickson, Reber, and Šesnić & Turkovi. Media sponsorship for the campaign is provided by the Europapress Holding (EPH) and Večernji list. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the public about issues of sexual violence and abuse.

Sexual violence is one of the most severe, and at the same time the least reported, forms of violence. Together with family violence it represents dominant forms of gender-based violence, forms in which in most cases a man is the perpetrator and over 90% of victims are women. The most vulnerable group in regards to age is youth.

Sexual violence is widely present, from sexual harassment (unwanted sexual comments and offers, verbal invitations, physical touch and blackmail, upsetting phone calls, sexist comments and jokes) and sexual abuse (unwanted sexual behavior with the use of force and/or blackmail, which include physical contact with the perpetrator, such as unwanted and forced touching of intimate parts of the body, sexual activities manipulated through lies, blackmail, pressure) through rape to trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation and/or pornography.

Sexual violence occurs more often than most of the people think. Its consequences are far reaching and many people are not ready to admit that. Its price – psychological, health and economic, for the person, her family as well as for the greater community is enormous and it does not allow us a possibility of silent tolerance.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

KtK’s open letter: Sexual violence as a weapon of mass destruction

UN member states have completely failed to protect women in conflict epicentres from violence and torture, likewise to involve women in peacebuilding processes. Despite a year having passed since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 on sexualised violence in conflicts, the world looks on aghast as the brutal mass rape of women once again raises its ugly head in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Instead of protecting the civilian population, the UN contributes to the exploitation of women. It is a known fact that people in the UN mission, MONUC, in east Congo exploit prostituted women. This was revealed amid great scandal in 2004, but despite this, and despite the UN having adopted a zero tolerance stance on sexual exploitation, nothing appears to have changed in practice. Similar reports are coming from as good as all conflict epicentres. In the Balkans the demand for women’s bodies from international staff helped underpin organised crime and to spread corruption.

This double morality and lack of concerted action is based on an archaic patriarchal view that men own the right to women’s bodies. Thus, the notion that violence against women is an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of conflict lives on. When it comes to practical politics the male power elite regard women’s rights as secondary. Politicians and decision-makers are evidently unable, or reluctant, to see women’s rights as an integral part of the security policy analysis. Sexualised violence challenges the traditional definition of a security threat and is not captured in the security analyst’s radar. This is not only a betrayal of half the world’s population, it also paves the way for inadequate decisions and priorities governing international peace and security.

The international community had a rude awakening during the Balkan and Rwandan wars when the systematic abuse of women first became conspicuous as a weapon for ethnic cleansing. The war years of the 1990s led to increased awareness and condemnation of sexualised violence in conflict. In a statute from 1998, the International Criminal Court lays down that sexualised violence constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. In 2002 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, followed in June last year with Resolution 1820, which condemns the use of rape and other forms of sexualised violence, maintaining that this type of violence is a threat to international peace and security. These resolutions are the cornerstones in the struggle for women’s rights. But there is a problem; the words have not yet been put into concrete actions by world nations.

Mass rape is on the rise again in east Congo. The systematic violence against women during conflicts is an effective and cheap weapon of mass destruction. The rapes keep entire communities hostage and are used to control, humiliate and intimidate the enemy. We witness how the violent rape culture tears apart the fabric of society and how it propagates and spills over into civilian society. An increasing number of women and children are raped by somebody in their environs. Today there are no safe havens for Congolese women. By governing over women’s bodies and wombs the enemy gains control of reproduction and sows division. Family affinity and social networks dissolve when family members and neighbours are forced to see wives and mothers raped, or when parents are forced to see their daughters raped or kidnapped as sex slaves. It leads to the destabilisation of entire communities and greatly increases the violence levels. We saw the same patterns in the Balkans. During the 2000s, alarming reports on sexualised violence have emerged from different parts of the world, Colombia, Sierra Leone and Sudan for example.The situation is acute and strong political initiatives are required if Resolution 1820 is to prove more than just a paper tiger. As next EU presidency country, Sweden has a strong voice. This is an opportunity for Sweden to take up the cudgels for women’s rights. The following measures could help pave the way:

Reallocate the resources in ongoing peace promoting initiatives to switch the focus to protecting women and girls where they are most vulnerable, for instance, in internally displaced refugee camps where they collect firewood and fetch water near road blocks.

Support national initiatives to bring legal action against sexualised violence as a war crime. This requires support for reforming legal systems. Internationally, orders that encourage or permit the use of rape as a war tactic should be monitored more effectively.

Greatly increased resources to sexual and reproductive health care to enable survivors of sexualised violence to receive the care they are entitled to.

The heads of UN missions must be held responsible for breaching the UN’s own zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation. UN missions must have an equal gender division and all staff educated in women’s human rights and UN codes of behaviour.

Local women’s organisations play a crucial role in empowering women’s self-esteem and promoting human rights. According to the UN special rapporteurs for human rights defenders, women activists are particularly vulnerable. They need increased support and political acknowledgement.

The world’s women can wait no longer. We demand action of our political leaders. Gordon Brown, Hu Jintao, Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, what do you plan to do?

Lena Ag, President of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Sweden
Dr Denis Mukwege, Chief Surgeon at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize and the 2008 Olof Palme Prize
Maja Mamula, Women’s Room, Croatia
Mira Vilušić, Horizonti, Tuzla
Berijana Ačkar, Center for Legal Asistance, Zenica

Boris Krstinić, director of photography of the awarded film “A Matter of Taste”

We proud to inform you that the film “A Matter of Taste”, whose director of photography is Boris Krstinić, Women’s Room’s supporter since our beginning, received award for the best short film on the British film festival “Heart of England International” in Tamworth. Film was directed by Costa Ipsa according to the script by Mirela Krneta. Boris’s photographs can also be found on numerous Women’s Room’s publications, including photographs on our web and blog.

Public lecture given by the Professor Leonore Tiefer

Professor Leonore Tiefer delivered lecture on July 3, 2009 in the round table premises of the City of Zagreb. Lecture was organized by Women’s Room, Croatian Society for Sexual Therapy and Women’s Forum of SDP. Topics of the lecture included: new concept of women’s sexual dysfunctions and medicalization of sexual health. Professor Tiefer is clinical psychologist specialized for sex and gender topics and author, lecturer, researcher, therapist and activist. She is employed as a Professor of Psychiatry at the New York School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her curriculum vitae includes 150 scientific papers and professional publications. She is one of the main editors of very significant collection of papers on feminist sexology that was developed into educational campaign called “New view education campaigne” . Lecture was attended by experts in the field of human sexuality, numerous students of various departments and women’s rights activists.

Training for representatives of relevant state institutions and civil society organizations

Women’s Room organized a training “Establishing cross-sectoral cooperation on combating sexual violence” on June 19 and 20, 2009 for representatives of relevant state institutions and civil society organizations. Training was held in the scope of projects “Zero Tolerance to Sexual Violence” supported by the European Commission and “YES! For Protocol!” supported by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development. Trainers were Maja Mamula, Women’s Room Coordinator and Neda Pavić, Deputy of the State Attorney’s Office. There were 29 participants from relevant institutions and nongovernmental organizations.
 
This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Maja Mamula, together with activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna, visited Democratic Republic of Congo from May 15 through 24, 2009. The aim of the visit was exchange of experience about sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and DR Congo. You can read about impressions from this trip on our blog .

Training for nongovernmental organizations

Women’s Room organized a four-day training “Specialized training for civil society organizations for advancement of service delivery for victims of sexual violence and for monitoring of public policies regarding combating sexual violence”. Training was organized from May 28 through 31, 2009 in Terme Jezerčica. Training represents a part of the project “Zero Tolerance to Sexual Violence” supported by the European Commission. Trainers were Maja Mamula (Women’s Room), Maja Vukmanić (Women’s Room), and Lepa Mlađenović (Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade). Training was attended by 25 representatives from entire Croatia that work on sexual violence.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Women’s Room signed the Appeal to Reject Transphobia and Respect Gender Identity

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia will be celebrated this year again on May 17th. Women’s Room joined other human rights organizations from across the globe in the appeal to the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the States of the World to reject transphobia and respect gender identity.

“Every day, people who live at variance to expected gender norms face violence, abuse, rape, torture and hate crime all over the world, in their home as well as in the public arena…” Appeal

Training for volunteers of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence completed

The last day of the two-week training for volunteers of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence was on April 29, 2009. Volunteers received a certificate for completed education and we signed volunteering contracts with them. Training was delivered by Women’s Room’s members: Maja Mamula (coordinator of the organization), Maja Vukmanić (coordinator of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence), Paula Zore (financial and office coordinator), Mirna Zolić (coordinator of educational program), Iva Prskalo (project assistant) and Dalibor Stanić (project assistant).

We would like to thank all the volunteers who participated in the training as well as lecturers (Ksenija Maslo, Ida Šamanović, Jelena Levak) who shared their knowledge and experience with volunteers.

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This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Training for volunteers started

During the weekend of April 17 and 18, 2009, a two-day training started for Women’s Room’s volunteers in the Hotel Palace in Zagreb. Volunteers were introduced to concepts of feminism and gender-based violence (through case studies) and topics regarding emotional literacy in work with clients as well as needs of sexual and gender minorities. Through the analysis of the film “Accused” and the discussion in the second part of the training, participants received knowledge about international and domestic practices of conduct in the case of sexual violence. We received a large number of applications for the training from persons who were very interested in further education about these topics. Therefore, we organized additional lectures/trainings in the evening hours during the week in the Women’s Room. Apart from Women’s Room’s members, external experts from different fields of expertise that work directly with victims of sexual violence on everyday basis and are transferring their long-term experience to the Center’s volunteers deliver lectures and trainings. Throughout the complete education that will last for 26 hours, volunteers will be guided through the whole process of work with victims of sexual violence, from the initial conversation with the victim to counseling work, with the emphasis on feminist principles of work with victims and persons close to them as well as on legal and police procedures in Croatia.
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This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Training for professors and external experts in the First Gymnasium in Osijek

On April 25, 2009, Women’s Room organized one-day training about the prevention of sexual violence for professors and external experts in the First Gymnasium in Osijek. Training was held in the scope of the program “Implementation of Prevention Program against Sexual Violence in Schools”, funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. Trainers were Maja Mamula, Jelena Bićanić and Maja Vukmanić. Participants were 17 professors and external experts from three different secondary schools in the Osječko-baranjska County.
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Workshops “Prevention of Sexual Violence” organized in secondary schools

On March 26, 2009, Women’s Room delivered four workshops about prevention of sexual violence for students of secondary schools in Vukovar. These workshops constitute a part of the program “Implementation of Prevention Program against Sexual Violence in Schools”, funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. Trainers, Maja Vukmanić and Mirna Zolić, delivered workshops in Economic Gymnasium, Vukovar and Technical Secondary School “Nikola Tesla”. 54 students attended workshops.

Women’s Room participated in the international conference in Ljubljana

Women’s Room participated in the international conference “Ways of Implementing the EU Directives on Violence against Women, Children and Youth: Good Practice and Recommendations”. Conference was held in Ljubljana from March 20 through 22, 2009. Maja Mamula (Women’s Room) and Lepa Mlađenović (Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade) presented a paper: “Justice for sexual violence survivors: Women’s organisations developing counseling for emotional healing and public policies”.

Lecture for graduate students of school medicine

On March 25, 2009, Maja Mamula and Voljana Kapelina (Women’s Room) delivered a lecture “Sexual Violence” for graduate students of school medicine at the School of Public Health “Andrija Štampar”. Topics covered included: forms of sexual violence, prevalence, consequences as well as the Code of Conduct in Cases of Sexual Violence against Students. Lecture inspired lively discussion that included numerous examples from the everyday practice of medical practitioners in schools.
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Training for volunteers of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence

We are organizing a free 26-hour training. Training topics will include: sexual violence, consequences of sexual violence, mechanisms of support for victims of sexual violence, the Code of Conduct in Cases of Sexual Violence, direct work with victims of sexual violence and their friends and family as well as counseling skills:

Aims of the training:
After the training, you will be equipped for direct work with victims of sexual violence.

Training will last for six days – two-hour lectures/trainings and one weekend (April 17 and 18) in the period from April 16 through 29, 2009. Training will be held in Zagreb, in Women’s Room and weekend sessions will be held on Sljeme (accommodation and food expenses will be covered). Training is intended for students. After the training, we expect you to volunteer for approximately 40 hours in the Women’s Room. Deadline for applications is April 8, 2009. We accept applications via email zenska.soba@zenskasoba.hr or via phone: 01/611 91 74. Applications should include short bio and motivational letter.

We are looking forward to your participation!

Women’s Room Team

V-Day – Until the Violence Stops

April 2, 2009Eve Ensler, Kino Europa, Zagreb, 2 PM

The Vagina Monologues at the Zagreb Puppet Theater
Scene Travno at 8 PM

Center for Women’s Studies, in cooperation with Center for Women War Victims and Women’s Room, is organizing V-Day, Day against Violence against Women. This year marks a ten-year anniversary of The Vagina Monologues in the region. This performance promotes awareness about violence against women and girls as well as women’s activism against violence against women and girls. Our three organisations have been successfully organizing V-Day in the past years, so we decided to ‘unite forces’ and organize another successful V-Day. Eve Ensler, writer and feminist activist, who received awards for promotion of women’s human rights, author of the renown Vagina Monologues, and founder of the movement against violence against women and girls V-Day will also be joining us for the event. V-Day – global movement against violence against women and girls celebrated last year its tenth anniversary in New Orleans. 30.000 women and men attended this celebratory performance of The Vagina Monologues (www.vday.org). So far, V-Day has raised, through performances of The Vagina Monologues, over $60 million that was used to support activities against violence against women in local communities. This year’s income from tickets is intended for Center’s Fund of Feminist Solidarity.

New info leaflet about the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence

Women’s Room has published a new leaflet about the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence. Leaflet includes basic information about Center’s work and services that are offered free of charge.Our aim is for this leaflet and information about the work of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence to reach the ones that need these services – people who survived any type of sexual violence but also the ones that have questions about sexual rights and sexual violence.

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This leaflet was funded by the European Commission and the Embassy of Finland in Zagreb.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Lecture “Gender-based Violence”

On March 1, 2009, Maja Mamula (Women’s Room) participated as a lecturer at the training Women’s Political Participation in the Places of Influence and Power organized by the Center for Support and Development of Civil Society – Dolphin from Pakrac. The title of the lecture was “Gender-based Violence”. Training lasted for three days and it was organized in Terme Jezerčica in Donja Stubica. Participants consisted of representatives of different political parties and civil society organizations from Požeško- slavonska County.Training was facilitated by Mirjana Bilopavlović from Dolphin, and lecturers were Branka Starčević Tesari, president of the Commission for Gender Equality of the Požeško-slavonska County, Gordana Sobol, member of the Parliament, Anamarija Gospočić, CESI, Larisa Petrović, Office for Human Rights of the Government of Croatia and Zdenka Čuhnil, member of the Parliament.

 

Training for police: Zero tolerance to sexual violence
Women’s Room has organized one-day training for police employees in Hotel Palace, in Zagreb on February 27, 2009. This training was a part of the PHARE program Zero Tolerance to Sexual Violence.20 police employees attended training from different police stations of the Zagreb Police Authority. Most of participants work in the field of blood and sexual offences. Aim of the training was raising awareness and education of police employees about specific needs of victims of sexual violence. Trainers with long-term experience in this field delivered training: Maja Mamula, MA, psychologist (Women’s Room), Neda Pavić, lawyer (County’s State Attorney’s Office, Zagreb) and Đurđica Kolarec, social pedagogyst (Center for Women War Victims ROSA). Training included short theoretical presentations, examples from the practice, exercises as well as Q&A and discussions. The work atmosphere was great and the interest and motivation of participants was extremely high for this type of issues.

This nottification hes been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this nottification are the sole responsibility of the Women’s Room and can no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Call of volunteers

Women’s Room will be conducting training for volunteers of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence in March. The duration of the training will be 26 hours. We ask anyone who is interested in volunteering to contact us on Women’s Room’s email.

Two workshops held on prevention of trafficking in persons

Women’s Room organized two workshops on prevention of trafficking in persons in cooperation with the Office for Human Rights of the Government of Croatia. Workshops were held on February 5 and 10 in the Children’s Home “A.G.Matoš” and the Home for Upbringing of Children and Youth, Zagreb. Workshops were delivered by Maja Vukmanić (Women’s Room) and Nives Vudrić (Red Cross). 34 children participated in the workshops.
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Second expanded edition of Creation! Also in English!

Image The second expanded and updated edition of Kreacija spola? Roda? is now available on more pages and with bigger font :), still questioning terms sex and gender on social and individual levels, and in the fields of legislation, Medicine, Biology, language, sexuality, education, history, politics, activism and human rights.

Primary users for whom Creation is intended are: activists, students, schools, universities, public libraries, civil society networks, relevant institutions and organizations for human, women and LGBTIQ rights in the region and beyond.

This edition of Kreacija is also available in English as Creation of Sex? Gender?

Creation of both editions was enabled by the financial assistance of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and COC Netherlands /HIVOS .

You can download both versions at www.zenskasoba.hr. For your own hard copy, please contact the Women’s Room and the Organization Q and at the following email addresses: jelena.postic@gmail.com, sdurkovic74@yahoo.com and hodzic@policy.hu.

Enjoy Creation!

Lecture “Gender-based Violence / Sexual Violence” in Daruvar

Maja Mamula (Women’s Room) delivered lecture “Gender-based Violence / Sexual Violence” on February 20, 2009 in the Public Library in Daruvar.

Lecture was open to public and it was met with great interest. Lecture was held at 7 pm on Thursday and attracted 75 participants. Short discussion followed after the lecture.

This lecture was organized through invitation from the director of the Public Library, Romana Horvat. Thanks to her, public in Daruvar had possibilities of listening to a series of interesting lectures in the scope of the Psychology Week in Croatia.

abcDA of Gender Equality – lecture at the Women’s Forum of SDP

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, Maja Mamula (Women’s Room) delivered lecture about gender equality at the SDP’s Women’s Forum Novi Zagreb – east and Novi Zagreb – west. The 19 attendees of the lecture expressed high level of interest for the topic, specifically topics related to women’s political participation, discrimination and gender stereotypes.

This lecture was a part of Women’s Room’s program “abcDA! of Gender Equality”. The aim of this program is raising awareness and informing youth, women and public about basic concepts of sex/gender equality and mechanisms for encouraging and supporting social equality.