We had an interview with Emina Bašić, alumna of our International Relations and Public Administration study program. She sees herself as a successful woman in the future and says that her main mission is to fight for human rights and equality.  Last week,

Emina Bašić: The academy should be a place where you learn about gender equality

Emina Bašić is an alumna of the International University of Sarajevo (IUS). After graduating from International Relations and Public Administration study program she enrolled in the M.A. program ERMA (European Regional Master Program for Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe). She sees herself as a successful woman in the future and says her main mission is to fight for human rights and equality.

Last week, Emina gave a lecture at the IUS about her final M.A. work that will soon be published.

Can you tell us more about your education after IUS?

After graduating from IUS, Department of International Relations, I enrolled in the ERMA program. The ERMA program coordinates the University of Sarajevo, the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) and the University of Bologna.

In October this year, I successfully defended my master's thesis titled "Gender Responsible Budgeting as a Tool for Ensuring Gender Equality: Comparison between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia", and was given the award as one of the best theses, that will also be published.

A very interesting topic. What was the thing that made you choose such topic?

While studying at the IUS, I got the opportunity to spend one semester on Erasmus + exchange in Istanbul at Istanbul Sehir University. That was the first time I attended classes related to gender, feminism and human rights. That was a very positive experience for me, because I had no opportunity before to learn about these very important topics. Now, I can say that this unusual set of circumstances has prompted my desire to study human rights, and in the end, to choose this topic.

The topic I chose is relatively new in this region, meaning that it also required a more detailed research, but it was definitely worth it because it resulted with fresh and interesting conclusions in the final comparison.

How important is the notion of gender and equality to young people?

A lot! Unfortunately, this term is not sufficiently familiar and 'important' to people in our region, but in order to achieve gender equality it is important to know the meaning of the term 'gender', and to differentiate between terms 'gender' and 'sex'.

It is not the dominance of one sex over another, but the need for synergy between them, which contributes to equal opportunities for women and men. What many forget is that gender equality is beneficial, and that socially constructed norms and prejudices rooted in private and public life have led to forms of discrimination, gender inequality, and female subordination.

To what extent is that particular term important for our education?

A part of my thesis also dealt with the academy, namely the representation of gender subjects during schooling in BiH and Serbia. The results are devastating. In addition to the fact that there is very few or no subjects dealing with gender equality or gender, these topics are not mentioned sufficiently in the syllabi of related subjects. We must admit that we live in a patriarchal society where it is harder to reach young people. The academy should be a place for learning about the meaning of gender; gender rights and equality that we all need to strive for.

Have you heard of the SAGE project that is being implemented at the IUS?

Of course I have. I am pleased that the value and importance of this topic were recognized. SAGE project is an excellent example and a very good opportunity to uplift the IUS in terms of gender equality to the level of European academic institutions. Each such contribution to change and improvement in terms of gender equality brings BiH closer to the EU. Gender equality is the fundamental value human rights system is based on, which enables the economic and social development of a society. I am proud that IUS is the only in BiH that is institutionally working on the implementation of this project, and I believe that the project coordinator Jasminka Hasić and assistant Mirza Rastoder will do their best to make it as successful as possible.