Association for Human Rights and Active Citizenship PaRiter
No healthy and truly democratic society can grow and progress without ensuring gender equality by supporting women to actively and equally participate on all levels. From battling gender-based violence, fighting for equal labour rights, protecting women’s reproductive rights and ending patriarchal oppression, it all starts with giving women space and tools to make a change themselves. That’s why empowering women to use their full potential is a key to live in a free and more just society.
Primorsko-Gorski Kotar County: Cres on the island, and Vrbovsko, Delnice and Čavle in the highland.
Selected areas have limited access to a variety of contents typical to urban centres. For people in some of them, it is quite difficult to get to the closest urban centre, the city of Rijeka, because intercity connections and public transport are inefficient and irregular.. The lack of diversity of cultural and social events also applies to those of educational nature, and particularly in the area of human and women’s rights. In three of the selected cities, there are no human and women’s rights NGOs who could organise such activities and provide space, knowledge and practice for the local community to critically reflect on the cultural and societal norms and address certain problems such as gender equality, reproductive and sexual rights, discrimination and gender-based violence.
Not only we will provide them with information and broaden their horizons regarding women’s rights discrimination and patriarchal culture we live in, but also the participants will have to organise a small activist intervention of their own choice in their community as the outcome from our workshops, like public debate, exhibition, film screening and discussion, designing and handing out flyers, etc. This means they will form a small initiative to raise awareness in their community about the topic they learned more through our workshops, and maybe even shed a new light if the issue tackled is considered as too controversial. Also, this will give them the opportunity to include more people in organising and executing the activist intervention/event.
Smaller communities are more traditional and conservative, and topics we will address through the project are considered controversial. This is mostly due to people lacking knowledge, and the biggest influence in such communities is the Church. Because of Church-related initiatives and NGOs, these topics have become highly controversial on a national level because they continuously publish false information and spread fear against human rights and feminist organisations. Thus, we consider our project as a necessity to those communities in the light of providing them with verified information, factual knowledge, examples of different practices, and even support to individuals who have more progressive opinions but lack a safe space to express them freely.
We will hold 8 workshops in 4 different cities (two per city). Workshops will be thematically differentiated so each will address one specific topic regarding women’s rights: reproductive rights (right to safe and accessible abortion, safe and dignified childbirth, accessible gynaecological services), gender-based violence, women’s labour rights, cultural norms and discrimination, and women empowerment and activism. In each city we will hold one workshop on a different topic, among the first four, and one will be the same for everyone, which is the last one mentioned. Besides that, we will organise 4 public actions (one in each city) by mentoring women who will have participated in workshops, organise a joint training in Rijeka for all the participants and publish an activist manual.
Women from the selected areas will be empowered to address problems they are facing because of patriarchal structures and to organise and execute a public action or event in their local community to raise awareness of others. They will also form a connection with women from other communities facing similar problems, so we will also create a small feminist network of women in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County which will enrich and empower communities in this area. We don’t want our activities to be just a one-time gathering of local women, but we want to give them tools to act on their own after the project is finished and to maintain the connections with other women who will take part in the project.
Topics to be covered through our workshops are strongly connected to what we assume to be the values of a democratic society - gender equality, equal right to work, life free from violence, progressive and liberal policies, and active citizenship. All of these are mentioned in a number of EU and UN documents, strategic plans and conventions. We will not only provide workshop participants with knowledge and information, but we will also teach them how to react to unjust treatments and discriminatory practices, which is what every individual in a democratic society should be able to do. With our radio shows and blogs, we’ll educate people on why it’s important to be an active citizen and stand for gender equality and women’s rights.
This idea is important to us because it’s why we as an organisation actually exist. PaRiter was founded as a reaction to a relatively passive environment when it comes to human and women’s rights violations, and we started to work on bringing these issues to people’s attention, empowering them to act and react when encountered with injustice, directly or indirectly, and providing them with verified and science-based information. In the light of the growing conservative and anti-democratic movement in Croatia, which results in the retraditionalization of the society, our work is more than needed to at least protect already acquired rights, but our ultimate goal is to achieve their improvement. With projects like this, we believe it’s possible.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Fees for (workshop leaders, radioshows and writing articles): 5760,00
Workshops costs (space rent, transportation, maretials, refreshment): 1063,00
Training in Rijeka (transportation, lunch, refreshment): 1241,00
Activist manual (print, design, proofreading, translation, dissemination, travel for presentation) 4303,00
Promotion (visual identity design, promotional materials print, payed advertisment): 2175,00
Staff costs and office expences: 17273,00
We would like to get feedback on proposed activities and methods and also some suggestions for improving them in order to get a stronger impact.