The Constitution and legal system of Bosnia and Herzegovina stipulate equality between women and men. However, gender inequalities are found across all social domains. Women are still underrepresented in politics, and particularly so in top positions and elected offices. When a country has a higher representation of women in politics, the effects are multi-fold, resulting in tangible benefits for democracy. Women play a key role in peacebuilding and their work, engagement and contributions to society should be in the spotlight.
This is particularly the case with the local administration. In the last 2016 local elections, women comprised only 18 percent of the elected officials in municipal councils, and only 6 women were elected as mayors.
The “I Vote for Women” campaign presented strong and successful women, who have created positive change in the local communities of B&H. The personal stories of women who inspired other women to thrive showed the strength and solidarity women possess in creating prosperity and wellbeing in their communities. Building trust in women as leaders, these stories aimed to motivate voters to elect more women in legislative bodies of B&H in the local election of 2020.
The “I Vote for Women” campaign was supported by the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Switzerland and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in partnership with the Nahla organization.
Posting various content throughout October and November 2020 via TV stations, social media, daily newspapers, and magazines as well as web portals, the campaign communicated strong messages and interacted with citizens across Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thirteen courageous women shared stories about women who inspired them and contributed to important changes – stories in which they serve as living evidence that women can be successful officers, lawyers, football players… Apart from inviting people to vote for women, these stories pointed out the importance of the active participation of women in decision- making processes. The campaign reached more than 1,5 million of B&H citizens using various media.
To read more on the achievements and experiences of the women involved, please read the full report of the campaign “I Vote for Women”.