FEMALE ACADEMICS’ ROLE IN PEACE-BUILDING, STATE-BUILDING AND GENDER EQUALITY IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Twenty-seven years after the end of the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is still considered a post-conflict state dealing with war memories, genocide, socio-political divisions, and political and socio-economic challenges like ethno-nationalism, unemployment, social inequalities, a complex education system, high levels of corruption, migration, and depopulation. The article aims to investigate the role of female academics in peace-building, state-building and gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For this purpose, a survey questionnaire was distributed to female academics aiming to obtain data regarding female academic’s role in the post-conflict society, how they have contributed to peace-building processes and the future of the country, the main issues and challenges they face as women in academia, their engagement in gender equality and women empowerment activities, the ways they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in their professional and private life, and their work-life balance. Descriptive statistics and a thematic analysis of the participants’ responses to open-ended questions were conducted. Female academics in Bosnia and Herzegovina hold that women play a pivotal role in post-conflict societies and that they should be actively engaged in peace-building and state-building processes. Women themselves should be the leaders of positive changes and female empowerment through education and by providing support to other women.

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