March 22, 2016 | Tuesday

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EUICC launches the campaign on preventing gender-based violence with movie screening and debate

EUICC Centres in Pristina and Mitrovica have launched the campaign “EU is about preventing gender based violence” with a series of movie screening and debate starting this December. The Centres screened the UK Sundance Film Festival award winning movie “Tyrannosaur” directed by Paddy Considine. The movie deals with the subject of domestic violence and its devastating impact on family life.

The movie was followed by debates with panelists from the field of cinematography and advocates of gender equality in the country, in both centres. Leonora Selmani, a representative from Agency for Gender Equality spoke about the institutional initiative on combating gender-based violence and stressed that this should not suffice only during the 16 days of activism of no violence campaigns but be a permanent commitment of the Government. “It is very important to work on prevention of violence since only treatment and protection are not sufficient” Mrs. Selmani said.

Blerta Zeqiri, a filmmaker from Kosovo noted that art was very important as a tool for raising awareness against violence. “It is important to send political messages through art and cinema because when people see a film that deals with a certain topic they empathize with the character and makes them reflect” said the filmmaker from Pristina.

Panelists Ruzica Simic and Milica Orlovic in EUICC North Mitrovica shared their experiences from working with institutions and their commitment to resolving these challenging issues. As a Joint Regional Project Officer at UNDP Milica Orlovic shared her views on the subject by remarking that gender-based violence stems from the disbalance of power between men and women. “It is the most extreme form of discrimination against women and abuse of power” said Milica Orlovic.

The audience interacted with the movie theme by drawing the attention to the lack of effective mechanisms at the institutional level and especially the mobilization of police officers to deal with individual cases when gender-based violence is committed. The highlight of the discussion in EUICC North was a shocking tale of abuse by one of the participants who shared her personal experience and showed that it is possible to overcome the victim mentality.

The movie screening series at EUICC centres will continue in January as part of the EUICC campaign on preventing gender-based violence. As part of the campaign other activities are also foreseen, such as debates and lectures. On Thursday 17 December, EU ICC is hosting a master class covering the issue of gender based property rights.