SARAJEVO, September 28 (FENA) – Representatives of the United Nations, the British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the company “Violeta” signed a donation agreement with representatives of eight safe houses in Sarajevo today, considering numerous challenges these shelters have faced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided financial support in the amount of 63,000 KM and mobile devices for the Viber SOS line, the Government of the United Kingdom provided 48,000 KM for the needs of these safe houses, while the socially responsible company Violeta provided hygiene supplies in the amount of 30,000 KM.
UN Resident Coordinator in BiH Ingrid Macdonald said that violence against women doubled during the pandemic, although the home should be the safest place and women victims of violence needed more support, while safe houses did not have enough capacity to respond.
She therefore called on representatives of the government and the private sector, civil society and ordinary citizens in BiH to make prevention and address violence against women, as well as to make it a key part of the response plans for Covid 19 in BiH.
UNFPA Representative for BiH John Kennedy Mosoti underlined that 47 percent of women have experienced some form of violence at some point in their lives, which is why it is important to ensure the continuation of the work of safe houses, but also to prevent violence so that no woman ever experiences violence.
The British Ambassador to BiH, Matthew Field, underlined that every other woman has experienced some form of violence, estimating that violence against women is likely to become even more pronounced as economic conditions worsen as a result of the pandemic.
“Domestic violence must not be tolerated or ignored, and all victims must be provided with the necessary assistance to overcome such a traumatic experience. Measures to combat gender-based violence must always be a priority, especially in times of crisis,” Field said.
The representative of the “Lara” Foundation from Bijeljina, Dragana Petrić, warned that the pandemic showed how women are more affected by the crisis than men, and although the legislation in BiH has been improved, it is not enough to fight violence against women.