Since 1996 the Center for Civic Cooperation has been implementing projects which promote civic activism, human rights and local democracy. As an organization in which women form a majority of its personnel and which operates in a society where patriarchal tradition and stereotypes are still dominant in all segments of society, we are always aware of the importance of engaging women in all of our project activities, during the research and development phases as well as through implementation and evaluation.

The adoption of the BH Law on Gender Equality (GEL) in 2003 mandated the establishment of government gender institutions. The BH Gender Equality Agency, entity Gender Centres as well as Cantonal and Municipal gender commissions were established following the adoption of this act.

Unfortunately, the level of female participation in all sectors remains very low. A disproportionately small number of women participate in levels of government where decision-making takes place. Women are usually employed in lower administrative positions in all six municipalities in Canton 10. Women are in a distinctly inferior position in Municipal Councils and administrations; there are currently only 2 women in positions of power: a Municipal Council president and a Mayor. Statistics at the Cantonal level following the 2006 elections are also disappointing. Women form 8% in the Cantonal Assembly and 11% in the Government; ranking our canton 9th and 10th respectively, out of the BH Federation’s ten cantons with regards to female participation.

Through all of our projects we continue to work on engaging women and encouragng them to play a more active role in decision-making processes at the local level.

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