Women’s NGOs and Civil Society Building in Bosnia-Herzegovin

Muhidin Mulalic


Very often conflict and post-conflict images of Bosnia-Herzegovina overshadow noteworthy developments and changes. Similarly the role and contributions of women's NGOs in the process of civil society building don't receive proper publicity and acknowledgment. Therefore, this paper aims to put in the perspective women's NGOs in Bosnia-Herzegovina by providing historical and theoretical analysis of their contributions towards peace-building and elections, state-building and civil society building. Furthermore, this paper aims to analyze origin and developments of gender legal, economic and socio-political framework as such framework is the precondition for actual application and achievement of gender equality. Finally, this paper applies theoretical framework of civil society functions on leading women's NGOs. The author uses ethnographic methodology, written sources, NGO and governmental reports and gender related laws. The results of this paper indicate that women's NGO's in Bosnia-Herzegovina made significant progress from providing mere humanitarian services to the establishment of gender institutional, legal, economic and socio-political framework. Such progress placed women's NGOs at the position of application and achievement of gender equality in Bosnia-Herzegovina. With regards to the fulfillment of civil society functions, results indicate that women's NGO's made significant achievements in advocating values of human rights, tolerance and understanding, offering civic training, promoting civic education and public issues through media, and promotion of conflict resolution and inter-faith dialogue. However, civil society functions such as control of political power, monitoring of political participation and elections and promoting of anti-corruption awareness don't indicate significant involvement of women's NGOs.


gender; peace-building; civil-society building; women’s NGOs and civil-society functions

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21533/epiphany.v4i1.31


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