Volunteering in the Context of Women’s Activism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
The author analyses volunteering in Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on women’s activism in connection with values associated with the concept of civil society, such as solidarity, equity, and reciprocity. Civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina generally suffers from fragmentation, donor-driven approaches, insufficient transparency and low trust among the general population, all of which present obstacles to voluntary work, as does a legal framework which is certainly not conducive to volunteering. Unlike organizations that do no more than promote the interests of their members, or groups connected to or controlled by political parties, women’s organizations are often seen as undertaking genuine activism. The author reveals differences in attitudes to volunteer work among individual women in organizations of varying sizes, explaining that those differences depend to some extent on women’s locations, ages or experience. Both inter-group and intra-group dynamics, including women’s networks, provide additional insights into voluntarism, especially with regard to the value of solidarity.