Stands out as one of our most important activities. Although it began almost since the very beginning of the group's activities, as of 1998 it has been pursued systematically in various projects (workshops, seminars, lectures, panel discussions). Our educational activities can be divided as following:
Traveling Women's Peace Workshops
This project was launched in February 1998 and lasted until July 2002. Its aim was to encourage the development of civic society, women's self-organizing and autonomy, women's solidarity, and to promote values such as peace, non-violence, feminism, and anti-militarism.
With the participation of women from all regions, the project was implemented in five cities in Serbia (Backa Topola / Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Kraljevo and Novi Pazar) and one in Montenegro (Niksic). For more than five years, two-day seminars/ cycles of workshops were held in each city, treating the following topics: Women Change Women; Women's Rights are Human Rights; Interethnic and Intercultural Solidarity; Women and Power; Women and Antimilitarism and Women's Peace Policy.
More than 1,000 women from fifty cities in Serbia and Montenegro attended these workshops. After each of the six cycles, we organized joint evaluation sessions, where the workshop participants met and exchanged experiences, thus spreading slowly, patiently, constantly, and resolutely the Women's Peace Network.
The Women's Peace Network - Spreading and Empowering
This project, unfolding since July 2002, is the continuation the Traveling Women's Peace Workshops. In this phase, the contents of our activities are greatly diversified:
International and regional conferences:
- "By Strengthening the Civic Society - We Create Peace", October 2002, in Belgrade;
- "Globalization of Solidarity and Social Justice - We Create Peace by Offering Alternatives", 7th - 9th March 2003, in Belgrade.
- "All for Peace, Health and Education, Nothing for Armament", 23rd-25th May 2003, in Nis;
- "The Participation of Women in the Development of the Civic Society", 8th-10th August 2003, on Lake Vlasotince, south Serbia.
Over this period, eight workshops were held in five cities (Zajecar, Prijepolje, Bela Crkva and Dimitrovgrad in Serbia and in Pljevlja, Montenegro), in cooperation with local women's groups or other NGOs and primarily in convergence with the local activists' needs and interests (on stereotypes and prejudices, interethnic / intercultural solidarity, on cohabitation in differences, on feminism, etc.)
Lectures / panels:
Seven lectures were held in Belgrade, Pancevo, Leskovac and Novi Sad, focusing on globalization and conservatism, women's health and politics, and feminism as utopia and reality,
- A two-day seminar / consulting meeting on the network's activities and plans, in Ovcar Banja, in August 2002.
- "Media presentation," an educational seminar for the activists of the Women's Peace Network / Network of Women in Black in Serbia and Montenegro, held on two occasions in 2003 (in Belgrade and in Totovo Selo / Vojvodina). This project encompasses numerous other activities in cooperation with other groups.
- From the onset, this project has been financially supported by our partner organization Heinrich Boell Stiftung, Germany.
Power and Otherness
This project was implemented from March until October 2001. It involved three regions in Serbia (Sandzak, south Serbia and Banat). As the population in these regions is very heterogeneous – ethnically, religiously, linguistically, and culturally - the content of all the workshops focused on recognizing all these differences as a base for creative dialog and cohabitation.
This project had over 250 participants and was carried out in three phases. The first consisted of workshops with the same content (on stereotypes and prejudices, on cohabitation with differences). The second phase featured varied content, defined according to regional needs (gender and nation, we and the others, breaking away from patriarchy). In the third phase, women from all the three regions participated in the following workshops: identities, confrontation with the past / ways of serving justice, and political and cultural consequences of September 11th
Education for Democracy - Law in our Everyday Lives
This educational program for teachers was implemented from October 2002 until June 2003 in cooperation with The Forum for Free Education from Zagreb and with the financial support of UNESCO. The Ministry of Education and Sport of The Republic of Serbia verified this program as a form of professional training of educators aimed at enabling them for the application of interactive and participatory methods in education for democracy and human rights.
Within this educational project, two cycles of workshops were held, in November and December 2002, which were followed by the practical application of the acquired skills and knowledge in primary and secondary schools in thirty-odd cities in Serbia. Of 61 participants (predominantly teachers in secondary schools and upper grades of primary schools and a few students of humanities and pedagogy), 58 completed the training successfully and obtained licensed certificates. During the implementation period of the project, the participants held a total of 325 workshops in 31 cities. They were awarded certificates in May 2003 in Belgrade.
Mutual Support - Women's Solidarity at Work
This educational activity, unfolding since the beginning of 2001, aims to empower women, to encourage autonomy, broaden public space for women, promote peace policy in everyday life. In particular, it aims to encourage the creation of autonomous women's groups and to support them in their initial stages. Fifteen workshops and five lectures have been held so far in Futog, Novi Sad, Gospodinci, Zajecar, Lebane, Vlasotinci, Bojnik, Prijepolje, Vranje and Tutin (Serbia) and Niksic (Montenegro). The contents of the workshops are defined upon consultation with the women from the local community, as their main purpose is to tackle topics that bear on the women's autonomous movement and civil society in general:
Recognizing women's needs
Friendship among women
Policies of peace and/or war
Reproductive rights / the Church / clerical nationalism - women's responses
Women's activism: before the war, during the war and in the post-war period
Breaking away from patriarchy: patriarchal expectations from women
Stereotypes and prejudices, etc.
In addition to the above-mentioned educational activities, we also held a large number of workshops, lectures and panels.