Female Role Models - Serbia

Female Role Models Serbia

The project ’Female Role Models’ was initiated by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Serbia and Montenegro in order to raise the visibility of successful women from Serbia, improve their position in society, and present the Dutch human rights policy through accessible street art.

Human rights are something we all share. The Netherlands attributes great attention to this issue, both within the Netherlands itself and in countries where it has representations. Within the theme of human rights, we pay special attention to gender equality, freedom of expression, and the rights of the LGBTI population. Gender equality issues are gaining public attention in Serbia, yet women still face discrimination. They don’t earn or occupy the same positions as men, and even when they do, they are not visible enough.

We initiated the ‘Female Role Models’ project with a desire to elevate the visibility of historically significant and successful Serbian women. The selected role models are Serbian women who have done something remarkable to contribute to female emancipation, be it in the field of human rights directly contributing to gender equality, or in another field that combatted stereotypes and paved the way for women today.

The ten women we are presenting were chosen based on research conducted by The Center for Women Studies in Belgrade. We made sure to cover diverse professions and select role models from across the country, with a special emphasis on celebrating women that may not have been well known to the wider public.

We present these exceptional women through accessible street art to make them as visible to as many people as possible. The artists painting the murals were selected through an open call, where we had over 70 applications. A jury composed of artists and experts from Serbia and the Netherlands decided on the 10 winning sketches. Our project partners for this part of the project are the Street Art Museum Amsterdam, Street Art Belgrade, Cultural Center GRAD, and the Dutch street artist Judith de Leeuw (JDL)


  • Ljubica Marić, the first and the most influential Serbian composer (artist: Katarina Fajgelj).





  • Vera Nikolić, an athlete who held the world record for 1084 days (artist: Marija Savić KoMARAc).

Novi Sad


  • Gina Ranjičić, a pioneer of Roma poetry in Serbia (artist: Marija Šoln).
  • Jelisaveta Načić, the first Serbian female architect (artist: Andrej Josifovski PIJANISTA).
  • Mitra Mitrović, (artist: Jana Danilović)


  • Jovanka Bončić Katerinić, an architect and the first woman with an engineering degree in Germany (artists: Tamara Osmajlić and Stefan Stojanović).

Project Partners

The municipalities and cities where the selected role models were born or lived are equally important partners in the project. In cooperation with them we provided the walls and logistics for executing the murals. In each municipality, we jointly organized debates on women's rights inspired by the selected role models (Kruševac: "Women in Sports," Grocka: "Women in Science," etc.).

Upon completion of all of the murals, a publication about the project and these role models will be published. The goal of the project is that these women be remembered for their achievements, to inspire young women to follow in their footsteps, as well as to motivate society to respect and recognize women and their accomplishments.