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Strengthening institutions to help victims of gender-based violence

Text: Senka Trgovčević, FENA Photo/Harun Muminović

SARAJEVO, May 28 (FENA) - The FBiH Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the BiH Agency for Gender Equality today signed a Cooperation Agreement aimed at implementing a project providing 71,000 KM to strengthen the capacity of social work centers to help victims/survivors of gender-based violence.
 
“On this occasion, social work centers received IT equipment worth 48,000 KM. Specifically, 40 centers and municipal services will use the said equipment,” said FBiH Minister of Labor and Social Policy Vesko Drljača after signing of the Agreement.
 
He emphasized that the project aims to strengthen institutions in the field of social protection in order to fight against gender-based violence.
 
“The Ministry, together with the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH, will announce public calls to cantonal ministries for social policy, social work centers and associations of social workers in FBiH to submit their projects, which will relate to vocational training of employees in social work centers,” said Drljača.
 
The project started on June 1, 2017, and ends on December 31, 2021. It is administered by the Agency for Gender Equality and financially supported by the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
 
“This is the last year of project implementation. By the end of the year, we plan to do a few more important things in addition to cooperation with the FBiH Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, in order to further strengthen the social work centers. This is, primarily, the opening of crisis centers for victims of rape and sexual violence in three health facilities, which will provide emergency medical care to victims of rape, but also providing evidence for possible prosecution of the perpetrators of these acts,” said Director of the Agency for Gender Equality of BiH Samra Filipović-Hadžiabdić.
 
She also mentioned the establishment of a body that would monitor and analyze cases of murders of women just because they are women - Femicide Watch for BiH. Such bodies have been established at the initiative of the UN in most European countries.
 
Director of the USAID BiH Nency Eslick expressed support for the efforts of the FBiH Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Agency for Gender Equality, which will provide assistance to social work centers in all ten cantons in the form of donations of IT equipment.
 
"Social work centers are fairly safe havens for women and children as victims of gender-based violence," Eslick said.
 
Project activities are carried out in coordination with the Gender Center of the Federation of BiH

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