DIANA CRUSE AND SHIRLEY DOCKSTATER–Report on the House of Human Rights

We start the day through iron doors into a dark hallway with traces of shelling on the cement floor, up a flight of stairs where we emerge into a house of light, the newly remodeled House of Human Rights of Sarajevo.  Sun floods into a high white room where a long cherry table and red chairs await our meeting. Everything here feels fresh with new possibilities.
Seated with us around the table are Berina from Cura (tsura) Foundation, a feminist organization of young women, and Jadranka who spoke to us of her involvement in Women in Black, Care International, Cure and Roma women.  They informed us of services available: Library, Legal aid office which has already processed over 10,000 cases, cancer support program (medical insurance does not exist), and Lesbian and Gay issues.
Jadranka tells us one way Cure has reached a gender insensitive public and govt. is through a yearly festival called “Pitchwise”, educating the public through clever posters lectures, music ,movies and dance. They have to spread their message through the back door.  “It is dangerous, to be a feminist in our patriarchal society. On paper our gender equality laws look good, however, there is no political will to put them in practice.” adds Dubrovka Kovacivic of CARE international, an organization which works for women’s economic empowerment. Care believes that women’s empowerment comes through education of skills, human rights, entrepreneurship, and a supportive international community.
Diana Kruse and Shirley Dockstader

Diana Kruse with her Serbian Cousin at the Serbian Cathedral in Belgrade


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