KS kultura sjećanja / remembrance culture

“Women in War - Victims, observers, perpetrators”

July 12, 2019

Documenta - Center for Dealing with the Past and Polka from Karlovac are organizing a seminar "Women in War - Victims, Observers, Perpetrators" with the aim of reflecting on the roles and positions of women in wars, breaking stereotypical gender roles and giving voice to various women who went through different experiences during the wars.

The seminar "Women in War - Victims, Observers, Perpetrators" will be held on July 25, 2019 at the Human Rights House in Zagreb (Selska cesta 112c) from 10:30 to 16:00.Please confirm your arrival by sending an e-mail to the address: tena.banjeglav@documenta.hr until July 18, 2019.

Please find the seminar program attached. Below you can also find more information about the lecture and the work-shop organized within the seminar.


Martina Bitunjac will give a lecture and presentation of her book entitled "Militant Followers: Women and the Ustasha Movement".

The Ustasha movement sought to ideologize the "Croatian woman", who "liberates" herself from the idea of ​​equality and sacrifices herself for the benefit of the "people's community" - only in the patriarchal role of mother and educator of the "Aryan race". This propagated image of a woman in the war years could not come to life because the mobilization of workers in various occupations was necessary for the survival of the "Independent State of Croatia". Members of the Ustasha movement, who had actively supported Pavelic's organization from the beginning, were very rarely limited to the role of mother. As "officials", they participated politically in the formation of the new state and led the "Women's Line of the Croatian Ustasha Movement" and the "Women's Ustasha Youth", where they were in charge of spreading Ustasha propaganda and mobilizing girls and women into the movement. Nor was supporting the criminal system only the domain of male members of the "Ustasha". Lecture, based on the publication „Verwicklung. Beteiligung. Unrecht. Frauen und die Ustaša-Bewegung“ will focus on the ideological opinions and possibilities of action of women active in the fascist movement, from the wife of the Ustasha leader to the female staff in the concentration camps.

Martina Bitunjac's guest appearance take place within the project "Staring at Goats; Propaganda, Scapegoating and “the Other 1918-2018”, funded by the European Union within the Europe for Citizens program.


Following the lecture of Martina Bitnjac, Alice Straniero and Tena Banjeglav will hold a presentation of the results of their project "Peacebuilding: Talks with Youth in Croatia on the War in the 1990s, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice" and a workshop "Women at War". Creative reflection on the roles and positions of women in war conflicts "

At this event, the last within the project "Peacebuilding", they will present the project and its results. The implementation of the project began in May this year with the implementation of three workshops in three Croatian cities (Zagreb, Rijeka and Karlovac) with young people aged 15 to 18. The topics of the workshops were the Croatian Homeland War (1991-1995), the peacebuilding process and transitional justice. Participants filled out a questionnaire, in order to express their interests, needs and opinions on these topics, in order to improve the teaching and curricula of history, civic education, as well as historical-civic non-formal education. The results of the questionnaire, the methodology used, as well as the comments and suggestions based on them, were published in an online publication and are available for download to all interested parties. In the continuation, the workshop “Women in war. Creative reflection on the roles and positions of women in war conflicts ", in which they will show the audience a new, innovative method that was used in workshops with young people. The method proved to be very interesting and inclusive and will benefit teachers, people working with young people and anyone interested to improve their work and make it more interesting.

The project is funded by the European Union as part of a broader project "Civil Sector Activism for Reconciliation in the Region of the Former Yugoslavia - Support to RECOM" implemented by the Center for Civic Education in Podgorica