Interview with “Women for Women” from Konjic about situation of women in the time of Covid-19 coronavirus

At the time of the coronavirus pandemic women bonded together to answer the challenges and once again they showed to the wider community how much they and their strength are unreplaceable part of society

In order to promote and protect women’s rights, and to eradicate discrimination against women with a particular focus on women and girls within marginalized and minority groups in ten municipalities in B&H, the European Union is funding the project “Women’s Rights – An Agenda for Positive Change”, implemented by the CURE Foundation (CURE) and the Foundation for Women’s Empowerment (FWE).

Shortly after the workshop, the unprecedented crisis caused by the spread of the new Covid-19 coronavirus, affected almost every country in the world including Bosnia and Herzegovina so the governments had to take drastic measures by closing the borders and putting citizens into their homes. As a result of the economic crises followed, there are a large number of workers who have lost their jobs, and surely this situation will affected women even more, especially those from minority and marginalized groups, who will have more responsibilities in their homes while many will lose their jobs.

In the new situation in Konjic women found themselves in a very demanding situation and numerous obligations. With the closure of a large number of companies and smaller firms, and the restriction of movement of citizens in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus infection, families found themselves temporarily locked in “four walls”.

As Lejla Halilovic, the president of the association “Women for Women” from Konjic, point out the importance of the workshop where participants spoke about the challenges and strengths of the association and local community, and how important it is for women’s association to join together and to empower in order to protect their rights. But priorities have changed dramatically with this new event. Household care and additional hygiene measures in homes and in most cases women are under great stress and pressure. 

– In our association we had several calls in need of food and hygiene, which we responded to, because this situation found some without payment or pension – Lejla Halilović said.

Speaking about how the crisis is affecting women who have to stay at work, especially those from minority and marginalized groups, Leila believes that it is much harder for them because they have more work at home, and they are in constant fear of losing their jobs due to crisis.

The “Woman for Woman” association, which is one of the many associations of participants in the EU-funded project implemented by CURE and FWE, from the beginning of pandemic has engaged course participants and members to produce cotton masks since and put themselves available for the Crisis Headquarter of Konjic Municipality. With the tireless work of 11 days, they made masks for medical workers of General Hospital, Health Center, Police Department, Fire Department, Crisis Headquarters, Red Cross, other companies and associations, local communities in Konjic and fellow citizens. 

– We had to change the priorities. General Hospital did not have protective masks and generally there were no protective masks in Konjic for anyone. We are the first and only association that put our materials, machines and other resources we had available, and 15 women made masks in their homes because we did not want to expose them to unnecessary movement. Members of the Police Station were transporting materials to the tailors and bringing custom made masks in entire municipality from Borak to Kralup – Lejla Halilović explained. 

Because of that, other NGOs engaged in helping citizens so volunteered, scouting, the Fishermen’s Association, the “Let Me Run” association, athletes, private shops and other citizens were include in the work. 

Like many times before, through their work they monitor the social situation in the municipality, and the “Woman for Woman” association did not forget the students so they donated a computer for online classes. Four packages of 100 KM worth of food for the most vulnerable families were also donated.

– We are proud always to be the first in all positive changes and ideas in our community. We have gotten into one unbreakable chain and together we are fighting this nightmare from which we will wake up soon and we will go out into the sun – she added.

What is most positive for her is that 20 women initiated the creation of protective masks for a municipality of about 19,000 residents and the most vulnerable citizens before masks, gloves and disinfectants arrived.


– Again, we have shown and proved that Konjic with its citizens is the hero city and that we can be tied together in an unbreakable chain together and that in any kind of situation we can make it if we work together – Lejla Halilović concluded.

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