This post is also available in: hrvatski (Croatian)
In October 2016, SOLIDARNA launched the “Drugotna na sav glas!” (Eng. “Secondary Out Loud!”) campaign in response to the growing misogynistic discourse coming from clerical circles and the increasingly intense attacks on the reproductive and sexual rights of women in Croatia. Citizens were mobilised to advocate for gender equality through various channels: the FB page Drugotna na sav glas gathered over 2,500 citizens, and support was also gained through a series of public appearances at various cultural, activist, and sports events. Cooperation has also been established with a number of associations, cafes, and shops throughout Croatia. Support for women’s initiatives could be expressed through donations, and T-shirts with the inscriptions “drugotna” (Eng. secondary), “štraca” (Eng. rag), “neposlušna” (Eng. disobedient), and “od Evinog rebra” (Eng. from Eve’s rib) (men’s solidarity edition) could be received in return.
A total of HRK 40,579.00 was collected from citizens’ donations, to which SOLIDARNA added another HRK 15,000.00 in donations from its general fund for the Foundation’s work, to announce a public call for applications on the Human Rights Day on 10 December, with a fund of HRK 60,000.00. The planned grants amounted to up to HRK 4,000.00 for ad hoc campaigns (HITNO&BITNO) and up to HRK 10,000.00 for new or innovative artistic, activist, and support campaigns (INKUBATOR), initiatives and projects of individuals, informal groups and organisations that protect and promote gender equality and freedom of gender expression. Emphasis was placed on innovative initiatives and initiatives from small communities. 61 applications were received to the call, and 16 small grants were awarded on the eve of the International Women’s Day 2017.
Apart from a widespread and positive reception by the public, the “Drugotna na sav glas!” campaign also received recognition from the social enterprise Brodoto, which launched the first selection of the “Najdobra” (Eng. goodest) non-profit campaign in Croatia in 2016. The goal was to reward organisations and initiatives that stood out throughout 2016 because their activities of advocacy, education and encouraging citizens to act together deserve recognition from the wider public. The expert jury narrowed the selection to 15 finalists from different areas: protection of the environment and public goods, promotion of cycling and sports, gender equality and LGBT rights, support for refugees, people with Down syndrome, and people with leukaemia. The campaign of SOLIDARNA “Drugotna na sav glas!” was one of the finalists for the “goodest campaign” in 2016, among the diverse and large competition in the category of the “goodest” fundraising. SOLIDARNA also participated in the award ceremony held on 1 February at the House of Europe, where Ivan Blažević presented the campaign. The awards went to the initiatives “Buba bar” for the “goodest” fundraising, “Biciklom na posao” (Eng. “Cycling to work”) for the “goodest” promotion, and “Hrvatska može bolje” (Eng. “Croatia can do better”) for the “goodest” advocacy. In a special category, citizens were able to participate in the selection with more than 4,000 votes, and almost 50% of the votes went to the winner – the campaign “Ili jesmo ili nismo” (Eng. “Either we are or we are not”) of the Naš Hajduk association. Although the campaign “Drugotna na sav glas!” did not win, we are proud of the recognition of our advocacy and fundraising initiatives.
Supported initiatives within the call “Drugotna na sav glas!”:
“U dobroj vjeri” (Eng. “In good faith”) initiative, HRK 7,500.00, Zagreb
Zagreb 041 Football Club, women’s football team, HRK 5,000.00, Zagreb
The Mothers of Angels Centre, support for women who have lost a baby or child, HRK 3,880.00, (national level)
Drum’n’bijes, HRK 5,000.00, Zagreb (national level)
Centre for Civil Initiatives, Super bake u akciji (Eng. Super Grandmas in Action!), HRK 2,000.00, Karlovac
fAKTIV, Osmomartovski tjedan 2017. (Eng. Week of 8 March 2017), HRK 5,500.00, Zagreb
Jureković Nikolina and Strinavić Manuela, Probij zid šutnje! (Eng. Break the wall of silence!), HRK 3,530.00, Nova Gradiška
Association for the Promotion of Creative and Healthy Life of the Islands and islanders, HRK 6,000.00, Prvić/Šibenik archipelago
Kadoić Tina, experimental drama “Sve što nije tvoje” (Eng. “Everything that is not yours”), HRK 4,500.00, Sv. Ivan Zelina, Nova Gradiška, Bjelovar, Sesvete
Sustainable Island, O.-journal on gender equality, solidarity and other island topics, HRK 5,000.00, Jelsa
Tomičić Espi, Herak Sabrina, “Ja od jutra nisam stala” (Eng. “I have not stopped since morning”), HRK 3,000.00, (national level)
Kalogjera Brkić Ivana, Initiative to cover the costs of going to therapy for women with cancer, HRK 3,600.00, Zagreb
Bitcherin, “Gejnijalno” website, HRK 600,00, Split
Ivan Belostenec City Library and Reading Room, “Inkubator samosvojnih” (Eng. “Incubator of independent”), HRK 2,000.00, Ozalj
Perić Ivana and Kuzmanić Ana, “Govoriš, pišem – nevidljive žene u fokusu” (Eng. “You speak, I write – invisible women in focus”), HRK 2,000.00, Zadar
DVD Vrhovac, Sisters Fire Fighters, HRK 2,000.00, Ozalj
Summary of the results of “Drugotna na sav glas” support
The “U dobroj vjeri” initiative considers the way in which personal belief influences life decisions and choices, as well as dialogue in a society where it is important to respect the beliefs of others and foster cooperation and inclusion. The aim of the initiative is to open a safe space for dialogue with mutual respect and respect for human dignity. Among other things, the initiative deals with the topic of religious and social dialogue on the subject of women’s rights and gender equality, and it received financial support in the amount of HRK 7,500.00 for further development. The development of the initiative so far includes the development and maintenance of the constantly growing Facebook community “U dobroj vjeri”, the organisation of a series of forums (Conscience responsibility freedom, Freedom of conscience and responsibility – the issue of contraception and abortion, The position of LGBTIQ people in the Church), which discussed the topics of the role of the Church in society, free will, sexuality, contraception, and abortion. The promotion of the book “Vjera u dijalog: religijsko i sekularno u razgovoru” (Eng. “Faith in Dialogue: Religious and Secular in Conversation”) was also organised, and as part of the Human Rights Film Festival (HRFF), a panel discussion Vjernički aktivizam u Hrvatskoj danas (Eng, Religious Activism in Croatia today) was organised to try to answer questions about what it means to be a believer in civil society and what it means to be a citizen in one’s religious community. The plan for 2018 includes the start of a cycle of events on the position of women in church, Christianity, religion, society from the point of view of feminist theology, and the creation of an online catechism of gender equality for which research and collection of necessary materials are underway.
Zagreb 041 Football Club is developing from disappointment due to the non-transparent competition of the First Croatian Football League and the general situation in Croatian football. Direct democracy is implemented in the Club and with its existence the Club sends a clear message of returning to football as a sport of solidarity, healthy competition, respect for opponents, and fighting against all types of corruption and clientelism, as well as against all types of discrimination. The initiative of the Zagreb 041 Football Club to start a women’s football team was financed by SOLIDARNA with HRK 5,000.00. With the obtained funds, the Club purchased vests for adults, cones, ball needles, soccer balls, hybrid training balls, a set of flat boards, ladders, and training ladders. In 2017, the women’s football team of the Zagreb 041 Football Club started the league competition in the Women’s League at the Zagreb Fair.
The Mothers of Angels Centre was established to provide support to women who have survived the loss of a baby or child through the organisation of support groups, the organisation and implementation of spiritual and psychological assistance, and assistance in reintegration into work and community after their loss. The Centre received financial support from SOLIDARNA for its activities in the amount of HRK 3,880.00. The funds were used for website development and maintenance, hosting, the production of leaflets, bookkeeping in 2017, and for bank fees. The Centre is currently in the stage of preparing leaflets that are part of the project aimed at increasing the visibility of the Centre. The Centre’s website has been developed. In 2018 the Centre will work on raising visibility by distributing leaflets made in cooperation with the Palčići Association and UNICEF in maternity hospitals, by a press release, and posts on Facebook and the website.
The Drum ‘n’ bijes initiative is a self-organised protesting anti-fascist rhythm section gathered for the purpose of raising the atmosphere at protests. With its activities, the initiative covers the rights of LGBT people and civic activism, and it has been provided with financial support in the amount of HRK 5,000.00. In the period from 2 March 2017, the initiative supported 10 protests and human rights events with its drumming (the 8 March Rally, Helen Keller Rally, From measure to barrier – young people are worth more, Pride Parade, IDAHOT celebration, raising flags and lighting Trnje Bonfires) and 8 drumming workshops and 3 initiative meetings were held. Drumming workshops were held in Zagreb as part of the Park is ours for children initiative, in Dugave as part of the Pride Month of Zagreb Pride, as part of Trnje Bonfires, and an open workshop for the March 8 Rally was held. Apart from Zagreb, a workshop was held in Sarajevo at the invitation of the Sarajevo Open Centre. The average number of people per workshop was 12.
The Centre for Civil Initiatives is a non-profit organisation established with the aim of encouraging citizens to participate in the development of their communities. The initiative deals with the topic of active life of elderly women and its project “Super Grandmas in Action” received financial support from SOLIDARNA in the amount of HRK 2,000.00. The project “Super Grandmas in Action” is part of the one-year project called “Trenutak sa mnom – Uključujem se jer sam informiran(a)” (Eng. A moment with me – I am becoming involved because I am informed”), which is intended for the elderly. Members of the Club and the Pensioners’ Convention of the City of Karlovac, the informal group of “Nordic walkers” and the informal group of “Super Grandmas” are included in the project. Participants are physically very active and engage in exercise, walking, go on trips, excursions, and socialise. Physiotherapeutic exercises are attended by more than ninety elderly women from the area of the city of Karlovac, and the goal is to correct health problems and exercise with professional guidance. The donation of SOLIDARNA contributed to the procurement of appropriate exercise aids and props, such as sponge balls, stretchable straps for arm exercises, and dumbbells. Now that they have their own equipment, project participants can participate in public events in the city of Karlovac and Karlovac County and thus present themselves to the public, promote their work, and mobilise new participants.
fAKTIV is a new feminist collective that developed from the ad hoc initiative “Take responsibility for the murders of women” and the organising committee of the “Night Rally – 8 March” with the objective of extra-institutional activity on creating feminist practices as part of a broader and solidary anti-capitalist movement. The area of activity of the collective includes fight for women’s labour and social rights, against gender-based violence, and advocacy for reproductive and sexual rights. The organisation received financial support from SOLIDARNA in the amount of HRK 5,500.00 for organising the Week of 8 March, which aimed to raise awareness of gender equality, depatriarchalisation of society, and fight against violence. The support was used to obtain a permit for the use of public space, promotion on social networks and the organisation of the 8 March party: Muzika za dobar đir& DJ Iva.
Studio B association deals with the balanced development of local environments, the development of civil society, promoting development and improving youth rights, as well as informing young people and promoting the interests and activities of young people, promoting sustainable development, active participation of citizens, and the values of the European Union. It applied to the call “Drugotna na sav glas!” with the “Probij zid šutnje!” initiative, which aims to raise public awareness of gender-based violence. The initiative received financial support from SOLIDARNA in the amount of HRK 3,500.00. The initiative conducted a street campaign on the occasion of the International Women’s Day aimed at raising awareness of violence against women and gender-based violence. During the campaign, carnations and leaflets were distributed in the morning with the aim of dispelling common myths and prejudices about violence against women, and posters were placed containing enlarged screenshots of negative comments posted under articles addressing violence against women. A round table on violence against women was also held in Brod-Posavina County with representatives of many associations, media, and legal authorities of the Republic of Croatia to encourage public discussion between participants that would lead to recommendations and ideas for achieving cross-sectoral cooperation to combat violence against women.
The Association for the Promotion of Creative and Healthy Life of the Islands deals with the development of the (island) community. The financial resources awarded by SOLIDARNA in the amount of HRK 6,000.00 contributed to the organisation of events that considered a more modern approach to the role of women on the islands and in the region. The lecture “From Šibenik witches to eco-entrepreneurs” was held, during which anthropologist Sandra Barešin lectured, from the perspective of modern feminism, on Šibenik witches – events from the 15th century based on historical facts. Within the lecture on women’s entrepreneurship on the islands, activist Andrijana Parić presented her project of the Barbaroža eco-camp on Dugi otok and the problems surrounding the starting and running of a camp. Both events were extremely well attended, and the locals of Prvić Luka and Prvić Šepurina, as well as visitors of the festival from Vodice and Šibenik, were interested. The lectures opened the issues of the contemporary position of women in the society, with a specific focus on life on the island and numerous issues regarding projects in the field of regional development, civil society development, and human rights protection. Next year, in 2018, the initiative plans to host scientist Sanja Podgorelec, PhD, whose research work “Women’s experience of migration and aging – a view from the island”, conducted in the Šibenik area, would be a starting point for deepening the topic of women’s human rights, including women’s reproductive rights. The plan is also to connect with the Lanterna initiative on Korčula, which approaches feminist topics through “memory recording”, with the aim of exploring the gender role of women on the islands through a multidisciplinary approach, while connecting sameness in different geographical areas.
“Sve što nije tvoje” is an experimental drama that aims raise awareness among the wider public of the feminist and gender issues and explore how often we accept everyday discriminatory situations and whether we think of them as discriminatory at all. It also wonders how much of it has been imposed/learned and raises the eternal question: how intense must the injustice be for us as a society to react? For these purposes, it received HRK 4,500.00 from SOLIDARNA. The funds were used for rehearsals held 3-5 times a week, rent payment for rehearsal space held at three locations – Kuda Života-Transplant Association, net club MaMa, Jedinstvo plant – small hall, production and purchase of costumes and props. In addition to the organised and held premiere on 7 May 2017 at the Vidra theatre, the project “Sve što nije tvoje” recorded 12 short announcements for the characters of the play and the documentary “Što je žena?” (Eng. “What is a woman?”) and all were posted online. The project is conceived as a two-year project (at least) and will last this theatre season too, and due to the actualisation of the issue of women’s reproductive rights in Croatia, the scenario is expanded and new situations are added. Therefore, the new needs in 2018 include space for rehearsals twice a week in the evening, funding of travel expenses, and connecting with associations/organisations to make guest appearances in their cities, with discussions and forums on current issues of women’s rights.
The Sustainable Island Association gathers active individuals and strives to create various cultural, ecological, and socially responsible contents for the sustainable development of islands. It also deals with gender equality, women’s creativity, and young people on the islands, and for its magazine O. (Otočka – of the island) it received HRK 5,000.00 in financial support for its critical reflection of life on the island. The aim of the magazine is to articulate certain issues important for modern life on the island and to encourage the island population to be more actively engaged in thinking about such issues. Throughout 2017, the association was preparing the first issue of the magazine, forming a team of 5 women editors, and collecting texts by 9 associates. The first issue of O. was published in May 2017 in a circulation of 500 copies. 14 texts were published on the issue of rethinking the island’s tradition, personal happiness, traditional extinct economic activities, gender roles in traditional occupations, the issue of raising girls in the era of modern and digital media, subjects of landfills and waste management, cultural areas, etc. The magazine was presented on 3 June 2017 in Jelsa, which was followed by presentations as part of the Silba Cultural Summer and the Ethno Hvar Festival in Humac, organised by the Sustainable Island association. Together with Vox Feminae and in partnership with the Jelsa Secondary School, the association held a media literacy workshop in October, where participants had the opportunity to learn the principles of ethical journalism and learn about gender (in)equality in the media. The plan for the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 is the preparation of the second issue, the release of which is planned for December, as well as the selection and editing of the received texts.
The Initiative to cover the costs of going to therapy for women with cancer was started by Ivana Kalogjera Brkić, who received HRK 3,600.00 from SOLIDARNA for that. After receiving financial support, she founded the association of women suffering from and treated for cancer “Nismo same” (Eng. “We Are Not Alone”) and applied the same project to the Adris Foundation competition within the “Dobrota” (Eng. “Goodness”) programme, receiving further financial support. The portal “Nismo same” was also launched, where sick and treated women have the opportunity to share their story and their experiences with other women, and the portal is conceived as a place where women are informed and empowered. Cooperation with SOLIDARNA was continued and since November 2017 they have been working on the development of a campaign for the project called “Nisi sama – ideš s nama!” (Eng. “You are not alone – you are coming with us!”). The realisation of the project should start in February, and until then they are working on developing a new social service in the city of Zagreb through mapping needs and stakeholders, developing partnerships with doctors and hospital staff, and researching women’s needs.
Badges with the slogan of the project have been made, and leaflets are being prepared and will be distributed in oncology departments at the beginning of February. A big campaign is planned on the Nismo same website and Facebook to involve as many people as possible in the project, so that it could ultimately include as many women as possible who need this type of support in their illness.
“Inkubator samosvojnih” (Eng. “Incubator of independent”) was launched by the Ivan Belostenec City Library and Reading Room in Ozalj with the aim of gender empowerment of women in patriarchal society. It received financial support from the SOLIDARNA Foundation in the amount of HRK 2,000.00 for the organisation and implementation of the programme. As part of the programme, two lectures were organised: “Women, mothers, rulers, witches… Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow”, held on 20 December 2017, and “Truths and lies about domestic violence”, held on 18 January 2018. The lectures were prepared, organised and performed with the “Korak” women’s group from Karlovac. The lecture/workshop “Women, mothers, rulers, witches… Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow”, dedicated to gender awareness of girls, women and grandmothers in the rural community where patriarchy is most prominent, was conducted by Davorka Bišćan from the “Korak” women’s group from Karlovac and presented a historical overview of women’s rights and gender inequality, drawing a parallel with today. The lecture was attended by 11 people. At the second organised event “Truths and lies about domestic violence”, Davorka Bišćan introduced the participants to the basic concepts related to domestic violence and participants were divided into two groups to discuss myths and stereotypes related to violence against women and in the family. The lecture was attended by 24 people.
Ivana Perić and Ana Kuzmanić’s project “Govoriš, pišem – nevidljive žene u fokusu” (Eng. “You speak, I write – invisible women in focus”) deals with the issues of gender equality, women’s poverty, underage pregnancies, early marriage, etc. The authors dealt with issues in the area of Split (Ana Kuzmanić) and Zadar (Ivana Perić ). For the purposes of writing the article, Ana Kuzmanić researches the topic and analyses the reports of the Ombudsman for Gender Equality, the Ombudsman’s Report for 2016, the National Strategy for Protection from Domestic Violence 2017-2022, and other relevant publications of civil society organisations that mostly deal with the protection of women’s rights. She went to Split and did interviews with a shelter user in Split, a journalist of Slobodna Dalmacija, and Đordana Barbarić and Dado Lelas from the MoST association, who have been working extensively in the field of homelessness for more than a decade. Ivana Perić went to Zadar and talked with representatives of the Duga association, which deals with domestic violence, and their coordinator Gordana Markulin-Ježina. She contacted Marjana Botić, who is one of the main initiators and activists for change in the city and was extremely active in the field of rights of women workers. The author also talked to women in Islam Grčki and Gorica, villages in the Zadar area. The results of the authors’ research were published in the form of an article on H-Alter.
The initiative of the Sisters Firefighters of DVD Vrhovac opposes the common opinion that firefighting is a traditional and exclusively male activity, and the intention is to empower women through women’s firefighting. The ultimate goal of the initiative is the emancipation of women in rural areas and the activation of women in firefighting. The project was implemented in cooperation with the Karlovac County Firefighting Community, the City Society of the Red Cross Karlovac, Vatropromet, members of DVD Vrhovac (volunteer fire department). In May 2017, the month of fire protection, the initiative held an educational workshop on crisis situations and prevention measures in households, and a leaflet was printed, while in August, as part of the regular firefighting exercise, in cooperation with firefighters, a fire, i.e. extinguishing, was presented. on a prefabricated kitchen in which food was left on the stove. By the end of November 2017, 13 women became new members of the Department, the deputy president of the Department is a woman, 3 women work in executive bodies of the Department (deputy president, secretary, treasurer), the custodian of the Department is a woman, the assistant in working with firefighting youth is a woman, and 3 girls have successfully passed the training for acquiring the rank of “Firefighting Youth”.