‘When you look at the system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the legislation that is supposed to deal with people damaged by the war, they are very patriarchal, and thus the law recognised women as victims much later compared to men, that is, soldiers, whose status had been regulated much earlier. From the very beginning, everything has been done on a patriarchal basis, in order to put mothers out of the focus first and then to completely leave out the children from such regulation’, said Ajna Jusić of the ‘Forgotten Children of War’ at the online event organized by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights.

Talking about the dealing with the past process in BIH, Ajna Jusić says that in this process, it is necessary to take into account a broader picture and include all groups that were involved in the war in the past, warning that the children born as a consequence of the war gained attention only for a brief moment, that is, when they shared their stories before the United Nations.

 ‘We still live in a state where an opinion that a woman is responsible for what had happened to her systemically prevails. We can’t expect from such a state to take care of the children born as a consequence of the war, if the women who survived rape are deliberately overlooked’, says Ajna Jusić and adds that Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘has not passed this test of humanity’ yet, which is the reason why the association she runs will not allow for future generation to endure what they have endured.

Asked about the position of women during and after the 1990s wars, Ajna Jusić says that when the system and history presented woman as a territory that needs to be protected because she is weak and fragile, that was also the moment she became a territory that should be attacked.

‘This is patriarchal oppression that had existed before the war, too, but escalated in full during the war. Unfortunately, its worst pattern, that is, rape and the moment of defeating a man by attacking his territory, which also implies his woman, is something we must fight against. I will mention only one name which is the proof that we still see woman as territory, and this is the name of Milena Radulović’, says Ajna Jusić and reminds us that there is still a pattern according to which woman is something that can be attacked, serving to satisfy someone’s needs.

Talking about relations in the region, Ajna Jusić says that as a society, we are forgetting that we cannot change the past and that for more than two decades we have been living under the influence of manipulative politics which does not allow societies in the region to go from the past into the future.

‘This is the politics of corruption, bribery, and an ethno-national politics which aims at keeping the society divided. We forget that the politics is something that existed before the war, too, something that made the war possible. For this reason, we must not follow the same patterns in our lives solely out of the fear of change’, concludes Ajna Jusić.

Ajna Jusić is the president of the association ‘Forgotten Children of War’ advocating for legal and social visibility of children born as a consequence of war. In her work, she advocates for women who survived war-time rape and children born in war, LGBT rights, minority rights and rights of children with special needs. Ajna Jusić was born in 1993 in Medica Zenica’s safe house, where her mother was placed after being raped in the war.

Online conversation with Ajna Jusić titled ‘Era of Interpersonal Dialogue’ was organised by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights.

This conversation is part of the project ” Advocacy, Artivism and Education to End Genocide Denial and Strengthen Reconciliation Process” which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany supports efforts to establish a participatory culture of remembrance, regional cooperation, and reconciliation in the Western Balkans.