American Corners in Serbia offered a variety of programs and resources related to March’s theme of Women’s History/Issues. Through month-long observance Corners recognized the contributions of women to the arts, science, education, business, and all aspects of American history, addressing also the topics that included equality, human rights, nonviolence, and more. More than forty programs comprising panel discussions, Conversation Hours, Movie Screenings followed by discussions, exhibits, Book Clubs, and children workshops, addressed prominent American feminists, writers, lecturers and other successful women like Betty Friedan, Edit Wharton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Amelia Earhart. Particularly popular were panels in Novi Sad “Women in Media”, “Myths about the Perfect Mom”, and “World Doula Week”, as well as the presentations about three organizations in Kragujevac: Roma Association of Women, “Jelece” NGO dealing with the position of women in rural areas, and “Oasis of Safety”. The highlight in Belgrade was the panel on the prevention of domestic violence moderated by the working group for the new Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence, which included representatives of the local ministries, police, courts, and NGO. More than 650 mostly young people participated in the programs, and more than 5,000 visited the exhibits and book displays at eight American Corners in Serbia.
This was an opportunity to advance the status of women and promote gender equality, which impacts the pursuing of peace, stability, and prosperity. Inspired by the discussion, one of the panelists in Novi Sad initiated a blog Myths about Perfect Moms.
March programs at Corners enabled to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women which have been encouraging dreams of girls and women. They have also contributed to foster a greater awareness of U.S. human rights policy and its impacts on women’s empowerment, as well as to encourage participants to identify local challenges women face today and discuss ideas how local position of women can be improved.