Mentoring sessions on gender-equality for high school girls

Mentoring sessions on gender-equality for high school girls

What is gender, what are gender roles, what are different forms of gender-based violence, and how can they be prevented, are some of the topics presented to Subotica high school girls during first mentoring session organized by Citizens Association "Atina", in cooperation with the Youth Office in Subotica.

Valentina Solar, a student of Polytechnic school, was motivated to register for the workshop as she has been noticing on a daily basis in our society that gender-equality does not exist. As she has noted, she has personally experienced inequal treatment while she was practicing wrestling; therefore, she believes that one of the ways to change something is to talk more about gender equality.  

- I had a situation during my practice, as I’ve practiced a male sport, that it has been preferable to put girls on the passenger’s seat or they were given easier tasks, because they believe girls are not capable of doing something, while the men are capable; but actually, we are perhaps even more capable than they are in some situations - said Valentina. – Our society is still patriarchal and that should be changed, and women should have their say in society and I think it is important to talk about it in order to change that, and to prove it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Mentoring sessions organized by the Citizens Association "Atina", are two-day events where participants discuss gender norms, stereotypes, prejudice, and different forms of gender-based violence, and key outcome should be designed activities that girls will conduct in their respective communities, with the support of the Association and the Youth Office.  

- Our idea is not only to hear their thoughts, but to empower them, and to let them acquire further knowledge and skills during those two days so they can map the problems related to this issue in their local community themselves; then, we can try to find some solutions jointly. In the upcoming period we will actively communicate with them in order to help them to organize some activities, events, and campaigns themselves at the local level, with an effort to prevent discrimination and violence and to raise the awareness on how important equality is and how important it is for us to communicated among ourselves in some different ways, to respect each other and to talk in general about the society we live in, and what are predominant prejudice and stereotypes - emphasized Lidija Djordjevic from the Citizens Association "Atina".

Today’s workshop was attended by 25 students from the Polytechnic school "Ivan Saric" and school of Chemistry and Technology "Lazar Nesic", and according to Njegos Djukanovic, Coordinator of the Youth Office in Subotica, girls interested in this workshop continue the training tomorrow at the same time.

- It is "With and For Girls project– support to Local Youth Offices in raising awareness in the area of gender-equality". Citizens Association "Atina" facilitated today a mentoring session, and it will organize tomorrow as well mentoring sessions lasting for several hours for all interested high school girls in Subotica - stated Đukanović.

"With and For Girls" project is aiming at promoting gender-equality and decreasing risk of gender-based violence among the youth, with special emphasis on online violence, has been conducted within the joint project "Integrated response to violence against women and girls in Serbia II", realized by UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA and UNDP, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and with the support of the Government of Sweden. The project has been implemented in the local youth offices in Belgrade, Nis and Subotica.

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