There are places in this world where girls still playing with dolls have their basic human rights violated since an early age.
According to UNICEF, at least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 30 countries have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In Somalia, the prevalence of FGM from the ages of 15–49 is 97.9%.
Gorica was twelve in 1992, still playing with dolls and with not much happening out of the ordinary in her bi-lingual family upbringing (Serbian-Italian).
That same year another girl her age, Severn Cullis Suzuki, held a ground-breaking speech at the UN Environment and Development Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “I am here to speak for all generation to come, to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world who’s cries go unheard”, said Suzuki, advocating for the protection of the planet and the environment. She also founded the Environmental Children Organization, an NGO, at the age of nine.
Inspired by Suzuki, Gorica felt her time for playing with dolls was over, as she could not afford to be a spectator with so many things going wrong in this world.
She needed to act.
So it happened that few years later in 2000 she enrolled in the faculty of Law in Udine, in the Italian North-Eastern. That same year the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and conflicts was also adopted.
The resolution reaffirmed the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response, post-conflict reconstruction. It stressed the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
Gorica envisaged a way forward in her prospective career.
This was also influenced by personal circumstances.
Her adolescence years were marked by the Balkan war watched on TV. Part of her family and friends were directly affected by that war, living in several parts of the former Yugoslavia. Gorica herself spent some of her childhood years in the Serbian’s capital Belgrade, were she was born, before moving to Italy.
This combination of factors inspired Gorica on the trajectory to become the Human Rights and Gender advisor she is today, working at EUCAP Somalia.
At EUCAP Somalia Gorica approached the gender issue “in-house”, instigating the creation of a gender focal-points pool.
Asked about what motivates her in her daily work in Somalia, she explains: “working closely with both women and men, supporting them in their efforts to build a safer and more secure Somalia. Women and men have a very different perspective and needs about security, but they are both agents for change”.
Gorica recognises this is not an easy task in a post-conflict environment such as the Somali one. Formerly she worked in contexts such as Afghanistan and Ukraine.
“I hope by the time I leave the Mission I can contribute to reinforce a dialogue for change and make women involvement in security a solid reality for the future”, says Gorica, adding that this should be very possible as Somali women have a lot to say.