Dialogue for the Future – the first online educational seminar: No activism, no change

Svetlana Stefanović

02. October 2020

Dialogue for the Future – the first online educational seminar: No activism, no change

The first educational online seminar was organized on September 8th within the joint regional program “Dialogue for the Future”. Over the next 12 weeks, 30 young women will have the opportunity to work through interactive conversations, workshops and thematic lectures to create solutions and identify ways to solve the problems that young women face, all with the aim of empowering them and more actively engaging in the community.

The first online seminar was opened by Svetlana Stefanovic, program coordinator of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, with the presentation of the “Dialogue for the Future” project, as well as the activities that have been carried out in Serbia so far. She pointed out the importance of further empowerment of women, especially the challenges in the area whose solution would contribute to the positive transformation of the current state of social cohesion in the three countries where the project is implemented.

On behalf of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Serbia, Sonja Mazibrada Puletic, portfolio manager, welcomed the new group of young women and wished them success in their further work and encouraged them to use all the opportunities that this type of education can bring them.

The first part of the online seminar began with the presentation of selected participants in this series of seminars and mutual acquaintance, in an interactive and creative way.

The second set was dedicated to the discussion on the topic of social cohesion and gender equality, which was discussed by Dragana Jovanovic Arias, manager of the Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

Dragana presented why it is important for us to talk about social cohesion and what the situation is in this area both in Serbia and in the region. She emphasized that social cohesion represents the ability of a society to take care of the most vulnerable citizens, with the aim of establishing equal opportunities and equal position of all within one society.

She also presented important statistical data concerning the Human Development Index, according to which Serbia ranks 63rd in the world, Croatia and Montenegro are in a slightly better position, and Slovenia ranks highest among the former Yugoslav republics.

In the last part, On coffee with.. Sonja Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, shared her professional and personal experiences through an informal conversation.

Sharing her personal experience with the participants, Sonja Licht emphasized the importance of social activism in the process of creating social change. Without activism itself, civic or political, changes in society are difficult to achieve.

She emphasized that feminism is not only a fight exclusively for women’s rights, but for equal rights and freedoms of all, regardless of gender, religion, race, nation.

At the very end, Sonja Licht emphasized the importance of a culture of dialogue and strong and quality argumentation in activism, as a key “tool” in establishing a fairer society for all. The first online seminar within the project “Dialogue for Future” ended with words of support and motivation from Sonja Licht, which were addressed to all young, brave women.

Online educational seminars are organized by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence within the Joint Regional Program “Dialogue for the Future: Improving Dialogue and Social Cohesion in / between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia”, conducted by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO, and funded by UN Peacebuilding Fund (UN PBF).