Democracy and participation, Community development

Banská Bystrica - women friendly city shortlist

Women on their way to equal rights

Creators

Who is behind this?

Beata Hirt

Healthy City Community Foundation

http://www.knzm.sk

Slovakia

Idea

Idea pitch

Even in the 21st century, women experience discrimination in Slovakia, as the results of the survey done in 2019 showed. We will support women from various social groups to develop and strengthen their capacity on their journey to get equal treatment and to fight for opportunities to be heard and involved in community development. At the same time, we will work on community awareness of benefits of diversity in the community, community values and human rights.

Where will your project idea take place?

Banská Bystrica and its district, central part of Slovakia

What is the local challenge?

The major issue we are dealing with is extremism supported by a neo Nazi party which has a headquarter in our city. There are also Romas (4%) living in segregated communities at the outskirt of the city or in social housing in poverty and the gap between them and majority is growing. Another problem is a lack of affordable and dignified housing for people with low income and lack of services for people in crises. We see as a big problem, that municipality doesn´t have an interest to involve people in decision making related to public issues. The urban planning doesn´t take in account climate changes and city doesn´t include "green policy" in its development. Activism is mostly seen by a municipality as an enemy and this approach contributes to tension and division in our community.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

We want to show that giving women respect and fair approach will bring a benefit to the whole community. A big issue articulated by local women is a lack of interest and tools provided by the city administration for public participation, specially to include women sight and needs in the city planning. We want to work with active women on their personal development and encourage them to participate in local policy in various ways and also to run for positions in a next election. By providing small grants to active groups we believe to motivate public to be interested in the place where they live and give them tools to start working on positive changes and demonstrate that change is possible and can come from ordinary people.

Who are you doing it for?

Generally, we want to do it for the whole community. Educational programs will be tailored for women from various social groups – Roma women, active women, businesswomen mothers, foreigners, seniors, students, etc. we estimate minimum 30 women. Since our long-term cooperation with the local University, we will intensively work with students and teachers, through their service-learning program – min. 20 students in 2 semesters. We will offer small grants to improve the quality of life from women perspective, which means an involvement of 30-50 active citizens but with much larger impact. Our goal is organize public discussions and presentation during a year.

How do you plan to get there?

To achieve the project goals, we want to use three type of activities:
1. Various types of education – individual, seminars, workshops, to improve women skills and self-confidence to stand up for their rights in various situations, all levels, environment, social groups.
2. Public discussion, presentations, debates – to bring the topic to the public, to understand and try to overcome prejudges and stereotypes and traditional behavior.
3. Giving small grants on topics defined by women – to involve citizens, give them opportunity to act and prove that they themselves are able to improve their communities.

What are the expected results?

After finishing this project there will be a strong group of women (minim.30) across the whole social spectrum, aware of their rights, able to communicate it adequately and act upon it in each situation. The network of local NGOs, professionals, activists will be created and active in preparing women friendly approaches and solutions in community development. We will live in the city, where official representatives will be more sensitive to needs of women in community planning and the public more opened to discuss and change old traditional view on women role and status in society. We also hope to have at least 3 community projects solving women issues and managed by local people.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

We believe in importance of strong local communities and activism on local level. It is the most practical way to give people their own personal experience how to perform their citizens’ rights and to give them experience that it is in their power to change things for better, as a basic tool to strengthen democracy on very local level. This task is very important especially in post-communist countries, where participation in decision making is still not inbuilt in society. Strong healthy community is that one, where all people are accepted, included and feel safe and the Community Foundation’s role is to be a leader in this process to build such a community. By realizing this project, we will support inclusion, understanding and respect for human rights and participation in practice.

What is your story?

The role of the community foundation is to support communities that are inclusive, safe places and provide a good quality life for everyone. The respect for human rights is the main value that our foundation supports on each level in community life. The results of the community survey on women life in our city were also a strong motivation to improve women situation. Very traditional and conservative influence which appeared after the election and is presented by ruling parties brough a lot of tension and showed that we need to pay an attention to women rights and honestly work on it. And some personal issue – majority of the local NGOs leaders are women, majority of the city councilors are men, the rate is 5: 26 !

€ 30300,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 42400,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Project management 7 000
Financial managment 1 400
Volunteers coordination 5 600
Educational activities 6 000
Networking meetings 2 000
Media, communication 4 000
Pubic mtg 6 000
Grant program 6 000
FR events 3 000
Office exp 1 400
Total 42 400
Some items will be covered from the grant from the Global Fund for Community Foundations and we also want to include local donors.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Practical advice how to introduce potential conflict issue to the public and how to facilitate such public discussion.
What could be suitable instruments we can use to promote basic human rights in so called “traditional” environment.

Team

KNZM

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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