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…Iz Kruga — Vojvodina co-organizer of the conference “Women’s Studies and Research in Serbia”

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Women’s Stud­ies and Research in co-orga­ni­za­tion with the Orga­ni­za­tion IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA from Novi Sad, orga­nized a meet­ing to mark the Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Day, enti­tled Women’s Stud­ies as an aca­d­e­m­ic and activist high­er edu­ca­tion pro­gram in Ser­bia. The meet­ing was held on March 6, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the premis­es of the Orga­ni­za­tion IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA.

The research project What Women aged 65+ (can’t) do in Ser­bia today, imple­ment­ed by Women’s Stud­ies and Research from Novi Sad and the Ecu­meni­cal Ini­tia­tive of Women from Omis (Croa­t­ia), in the peri­od from Feb­ru­ary 1, 2020 to April 30, was pre­sent­ed at the meet­ing 2021.

The aim of the research is to col­lect and ana­lyze the poten­tials, resources and achieve­ments of old­er women, as well as the dif­fer­ent types of dis­crim­i­na­tion they are exposed to in every­day life, which con­firms that dis­crim­i­na­tion is a com­mon phe­nom­e­non for dif­fer­ent groups of old­er women. The result of the research work is the book Age and Gen­der in Time and Space — What Women aged 65+ (can’t) do in Ser­bia today, edit­ed by Mar­gare­ta Bashara­gin. The book is ded­i­cat­ed to prof. Dr. Slo­bo­dan­ka Markov, the orig­i­na­tors of the top­ic of gen­der and the elder­ly in Women’s Stud­ies and Research.

The research with the help of the online ques­tion­naire What women aged 65+ (can’t) do in Ser­bia today was con­duct­ed today by Dasa Duhacek, and the analy­sis of the results was giv­en by Mar­gare­ta Basara­gin, in a labor called Don’t wor­ry, years are just a num­ber — Ageism and sex­ism in media dis­course: TV com­mer­cials and anti-news­pa­per adver­tise­ments and Sven­ka Sav­ic, in a paper enti­tled Lan­guage and Age in Inter­ac­tion.

- The aim of the research is to present the atti­tudes of old­er women about human rights, women’s human rights and dis­crim­i­na­tion as a rela­tion­ship with the elder­ly, expo­sure to dis­crim­i­na­tion through per­son­al expe­ri­ence, and how this view deter­mines them in under­stand­ing their poten­tial. The hypoth­e­sis is that old­er (edu­cat­ed) women rec­og­nize dis­crim­i­na­tion based on age, because it is part of per­son­al expe­ri­ence, but not mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion — gen­der, age and nation­al­i­ty, which is oth­er­wise part of edu­ca­tion — says Dasha Duhacek.

- The research aimed to decon­struct the con­cept of age and aging of women in adver­tis­ing dis­course and point out the forms of dis­crim­i­na­tion against old­er women, based on the analy­sis of tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials in Ser­bia today, and pre­sent­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for over­com­ing them. Old­er peo­ple rarely appear in the con­tent of TV com­mer­cials in stereo­typ­i­cal roles, and the method of inter­sec­tion reveals that old­er women are dou­bly dis­crim­i­nat­ed against — by gen­der and age. I con­clude that lit­tle atten­tion in adver­tis­ing and media dis­course is paid to the top­ic of age, expe­ri­ence and poten­tial of old­er women — says Mar­gare­ta Bashara­gin.

- The aim of this labor is to present the con­ti­nu­ity of dis­crim­i­na­to­ry lin­guis­tic (sym­bol­ic) prac­tice for the term old woman (grand­moth­er — old woman) and to offer a pos­si­ble way of over­com­ing such a dis­crim­i­na­to­ry state in our coun­try today. The basic hypoth­e­sis is that the for­ma­tion of lin­guis­tic stereo­types towards old­er peo­ple, towards old­er women in par­tic­u­lar, exists in inter­re­la­tion with the notion of old­er peo­ple in soci­ety. If we change lan­guage prac­tice, can we change or reduce neg­a­tive stereo­typ­i­cal think­ing? In con­clu­sion, there is a pro­pos­al to change the exist­ing lan­guage prac­tice towards old­er women, so that the wider com­mu­ni­ty rec­og­nizes the poten­tials of (high­ly edu­cat­ed) old­er women and affirms them, which ensures that women’s edu­ca­tion and their gen­der dimen­sion are more respect­ed — says Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Sven­ka Sav­ic.

After the pre­sent­ed sum­maries of the research, San­ja Kojic Mlade­n­ov, in front of the Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art of Vojvo­d­i­na from Novi Sad, pre­sent­ed the Review of Old­er Women in Visu­al Art.

- The labor inves­ti­gates the way old­er women are por­trayed in the visu­al arts, in order to indi­cate the posi­tion, place and role of a woman who is declared old by soci­ety, as well as the mech­a­nisms influ­enc­ing the cre­ation of her mar­gin­al­ized posi­tion, exclu­sion from the com­mu­ni­ty, prej­u­dice and taboos. If the way of pre­sent­ing age is changed, aging will be viewed in a pos­i­tive light — says San­ja Kojic Mlade­n­ov.

The project was imple­ment­ed in order to intro­duce the top­ics of gen­der and age/aging in aca­d­e­m­ic women’s stud­ies, as an impor­tant seg­ment of fem­i­nist edu­ca­tion in our coun­try today.

Stasa Zajovic, on behalf of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Women in Black from Bel­grade, end­ed the meet­ing by talk­ing about the impor­tance of sol­i­dar­i­ty in the age of the crown.

- Dur­ing the state of emer­gency declared due to the coro­na virus pan­dem­ic in Ser­bia, Women in Black orga­nized activ­i­ties of mutu­al sup­port and sol­i­dar­i­ty, and after its abo­li­tion, they orga­nized meet­ings with their activists. The col­lect­ed expe­ri­ences tes­ti­fy to the chal­lenges of activism, the con­se­quences of the pan­dem­ic at the eco­nom­ic and social lev­el, ethics of care, alter­na­tives, ie strate­gies of resis­tance at the per­son­al lev­el, the effects of repres­sive mea­sures of the regime, state respon­si­bil­i­ty, (mis) pan­dem­ic and polit­i­cal emer­gency — she con­clud­ed Stasa Zajovic.

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Maja Tom­ic