Bosnian female coalminers: Eighth March is the day when you do not descend into the pit.
Šemsa Hadžo a coalminer explains how work is done by women: “As for work, women miners do not fall behind their peers. We certainly do it better and more conscientiously than men. We women perhaps fear little more than men do and therefore perform tasks more responsible and better than they.”
She also said that when she retires she hopes a woman will take over where she left. She has worked in the coalmine for 30 years and says the she and her colleagues have a great relationship and that they often know to help out.
As a girl, aged 18, Almedina Kaljun (48) came to the mine. She started to love the mine and miners’ work as a child while playing near the mine.
“I am a child of the village, I was born in the vicinity of the mine. As a child I used to play around the fence of the mine and it was logical to do this because there either my grandfather, great grandfather or father worked, now my husband, brother, and son works here” explained Kaljun.
As he says, why go somewhere else when you have a job outside the door.
“You start to love this job since childhood, father brought his salary, there was never any story of the mine as a scary and horrible job, he always talked about it with love”, she explains.
For her to descent into the pit, she says, is just like to come home and go shopping.
“I never feared it. The job that I and Šemsa have now, before only men had. First time in the history of the coalmines this work is now done by women […]”, explained Kaljun.
Speaking of International Women’s Day 8th March, she added that this day every year is a special day in the mine.
“This day we do not go into the pit, we dress up, our trustee prepares us breakfast, coffee, and our board members takes us out on lunch. We get flowers, gifts and of course you feel special,” said one of the Bosnian heroines.
The women say how they proud of their coworkers and if they could start over they would choose this job regardles.