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On the Road to the EU: Monitoring Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently undergoing integration into the international legal order, in compliance with international and European requirements to establish a general nondiscriminatory framework and adopt gender-specific legislation and measures. This is a positive step toward possible implementation of equal opportunities for women and men, but its impact is extremely limited in everyday practices. Although the government has made significant efforts with regard to "gender mainstreaming," there is a wide gap between de jure and de facto treatment.

Although most of the relevant laws have incorporated the principle of equal opportunities for women and men, in practice women usually cannot realize those opportunities in either the private or public sectors. A truly gender-sensitive policy and practice has almost completely failed to materialize in the fields of economy, employment, education, social security, health care, and women's participation in decision-making bodies in public and political life.

This report is one of a seven-part series, "On the Road to the EU," prepared as part of the OSI Network Women’s Program's "Bringing the EU Home" Project. This three-year project aims to promote awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of equal opportunity legislation at the national level and to build the capacity of national actors in civil society to use EU-level gender equality mechanisms effectively. The project further aims to help increase the importance of equal opportunities on the European agenda.

An assessment of the status of equal opportunities between women and men, de jure and de facto, was carried out in seven South Eastern European entities: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The reports were prepared in cooperation with the International Gender Policy Network.

The complete report for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a fact sheet addressing the specific situation of Romani women, are available for download.

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