14 May 2018

Where the streets have no female names

Less than two percent of public spaces in the Croatian capital are named after women. That's why a local association launched a petition for more of Zagreb's streets to have female names. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Where the streets have no female names - NewsMavens
Street. Pixabay/

Why this story matters:

When Zagreb city authorities announced they would name a park after a male writer, the association Kulturtreger started a petition arguing that the park should be named after a female author.

They proposed that one of the three female authors currently on the list of names approved by the city authorities should be used for the park, such as ethnographer and writer Mara Čop Marlet, painter and poet Katarina Dujšin Ribar or actress and writer Božena Begović.

At the moment, Balkan public spaces are dominated by male presence, along with all other mechanisms of power.

But there is a perceptible backlash, and initiatives for public recognition of notable women have taken place in various forms across the Balkans.

With so many fierce women of today making tributes to the legacy of their female forerunners, a better future seems within reach.

Details from the story:

  • Only 1.8 percent of public spaces in Zagreb are named after women, which is almost 15 times less than male representation, according to last year's research.
  • The zeneBiH online campaign aims to teach social media users about forgotten and underappreciated Bosnian female writers, artists, journalists and humanitarian workers. The initiative, originally planned to take place only during this year's Women's History Month of March, will become a book collection of significant Bosnian women and their contribution to the society. 
  • In Croatia, a team of female artists created the board game "Fierce women" to shed some light on the under-recognized accomplishments of women from around the world. 
  • An initiative of Sarajevo Open Center (SOC) aims to include notable Bosnian women on the currency.
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