What’s KWN Up to in 2017?

     The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) has a Strategy for 2015-2018, created and adopted by its member organizations. As of the end of 2016, KWN had implemented approximately 60% of its Strategy. In 2017, we will build on the achievements made, further progressing towards implementing our Strategy. As per each of our Strategic Objectives, these are the areas where we will be focusing this year:

Building the Capacity of KWN
•    KWN is only as strong as its members. Therefore, we work hard to support our member organizations in becoming stronger. In 2017, we will continue providing demand-driven workshops on effective advocacy, public relations, policy papers, public speaking and annual budgeting, among others, followed by individualized mentoring tailored to organizations’ needs and financial support through the Kosovo Women’s Fund. This year KWN plans to give €102.000.00 to 28 organizations via 2 grant rounds through the Kosovo Women’s Fund, supported by the EU Office in Kosovo and Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
•    Additionally, we are committed to supporting the development of a dynamic feminist movement in Kosovo. We plan to organize discussions on feminist organizing, techniques, challenges and ways forward, inviting all organizations and individuals interested to join in on strategizing for strengthening together the feminist movement in Kosovo. Stay tuned for further information!

Women in Politics and Decision-making
•    KWN continues to support the Kosovo Lobby for Gender Equality, which brings together women and men in 27 municipalities to advocate for their priorities towards achieving gender equality at the municipal level. ADA, the EU and Kvinna till Kvinna (KtK) support the Lobby’s networking meetings.
•    KWN will continue its work towards institutionalizing gender responsive budgeting, this year providing technical support to two ministries and a municipality, as well as continuing to advocate for gender responsive budgeting to be integrated into Kosovo’s public finance system, in line with the Law on Gender Equality. This includes advocating for improved representation of women in all levels of decision-making within appointed and elected positions in government, in line with the Law on Gender Equality, which will contribute to more gender-balanced state expenditures. This work is supported by ADA.
•    The Kosovo Women’s Fund also provides opportunities for diverse women to participate in several decision-making processes at municipal and national levels, through KWN member organizations.
•    Via a contract with the EU Office, KWN will continue providing technical expertise to the EU Office, Ministry of European Integration, Agency for Gender Equality in the Office of the Prime Minister (AGE) and line ministries towards mainstreaming a gender perspective in the planning and implementation of all Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) programmes.
•    With support from Kvinna till Kvinna, KWN will continue collaborating closely with its member organizations and the Kosovo Lobby for Gender Equality to ensure that women participate actively in discussions related to Kosovo’s EU Accession, as foreseen by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This will include continuing to review draft laws, policies and plans from a gender perspective, and submitting official input towards integrating a gender perspective within them.
•    In early 2017, KWN will continue collaboration with the Kosovo Institute for Public Administration (KIPA), AGE and GIZ, delivering a training of trainers for new trainers on gender equality, recruited by KIPA. KWN will train them on three curricula developed by KWN in 2016, on gender equality and gender responsive budgeting, respectively. KWN also is developing a handbook to accompany this training.

Women’s Health
•    On 2 Feb., KWN is launching its report Access to Healthcare in Kosovo. In 2017, KWN will collaborate closely with K10, the Coalition of Organizations on Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights, to carry out advocacy efforts related to the recommendations in this report and towards improving women’s access to quality healthcare overall.

Addressing Gender-based Violence
•    In the first half of 2017, KWN will continue to advocate for implementation of recommendations made in its reports No More Excuses (on domestic violence, 2015) and Sexual Harassment in Kosovo (2016). KWN will update its advocacy strategy to this end in close collaboration with other stakeholders, and work together with other key actors towards advocating for increased awareness and improved response to domestic violence and sexual harassment by institutions and people in Kosovo.
•    Then, KWN will conduct mixed methods research similar to that carried out in 2015, involving a national survey and interviews with institutions to monitor progress and developments since the 2015 research. This is supported by ADA.
•    KWN will continue participating in the official coordination group for persons who suffered sexual violence during the war, hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, and in finalizing the procedures for persons who suffered sexual violence to apply for state benefits. KWN will continue supporting its member organizations who specialize in assisting persons who suffered sexual violence during the war.
•    KWN will remain active in regional efforts, advocating for justice for sexual violence crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, including alternative justice processes via the Women’s Court.

Women’s Economic Empowerment
•    As a member of the Women’s Economic Forum (Forumi Ekonomik te Grave), KWN will work with other leading organizations, associations and think tanks to advocate for amendments to the Law on Labour. Recommended amendments will be evidenced-based, drawing from KWN’s and others’ research. Through proposed amendments, KWN seeks to improve women’s participation in the labour force, decrease discrimination in hiring and working conditions and address issues affiliated with current maternity leave provisions. This includes addressing current discrimination against men with regard to paternity leave, which KWN interprets as a violation of the Law on Gender Equality.
•    In cooperation with member organizations and lawyers, KWN continues supporting women in claiming their right to property and inheritance through free of charge direct legal aid (email regjistropronen@gmail.com for support or information). The Administrative Instruction for the Joint Registration of Property is valid through March 2017, waiving fees affiliated with registering property jointly in the names of married couples. Therefore, KWN and its members’ initiative seeks to take advantage of this important Administrative Instruction and support women in claiming their rights to property. The Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) program is supporting this initiative.
•    KWN will follow up on the recommendations put forth in its 2016 report Who Cares? on access to childcare in Kosovo. Increasing access to affordable childcare is important for creating an enabling environment through which more women can enter the labour force.

For further information about KWN and its programs, or to discuss avenues for potential collaboration, please email info@womensnetwork.org.

Kosovo Women's Fund Documentary, 2015-2017

Kosova Women's Network