In 1993, Women for Women International was founded by Zainab Salbi and Amjad Atallah to bring financial and emotional support to women affected by the Bosnian War. The remnants of years of genocide, sectarian violence, and mass rape that occurred during the war remain today as the nation pushes to rebuild and redefine itself as a modern democracy.
Our program in Bosnia and Herzegovina thrived for 23 years as our flagship country office under international leadership. In 2016, our staff established Žene za Žene International Association Sarajevo as an affiliate of Women for Women International that will continue its work independently. Since 1993, Women for Women International and Žene za Žene have reached a total of 61,911 women to give them the tools to create economic opportunities and strengthen their civic engagement.
The Žene za Žene team works with participants in the Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program to develop vocational and business skills to improve their power to earn income, support their families, and contribute to their communities. Recently, Žene za Žene has supported 12 women’s small business associations to create a network of support and enhance market access and economic opportunities for its members.
In addition to economic support, Žene za Žene supports young women in local government and grassroots, issue-based advocacy organizations. A Young Women in Leadership and Development project hosted by the organization provides in-depth training and mentoring for young women to design community development projects and become active leaders in local civil society organizations.