KWN Creates Advocacy Strategy for EU Accession

 On September 7, the Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) led a strategic planning workshop in order to inform its Strategy for furthering a gender perspective in Kosovo's EU Accession process. 
       This strategy will include planned advocacy efforts for addressing specific bodies in the EU and Kosovo. Representatives of Kosovo institutions, civil society, international organizations and the European Union office in Kosovo, joined together to discuss topics such as: approximating Kosovo law with EU law: gender-based discrimination and labor rights; financing, supporting, and sustaining women’s rights activism; Improving and Increasing women-led CSO’s Involvement in the EU Accession Process, and Integrating a gendered perspective in IPA programming
        Attendees chose the topic that was most pertinent their work and then the groups identified key problems/issues within that particular topic. After discussion, the groups defined objectives and activities that KWN and its partner organizations could undertake in order to remedy the issues; and the expected results it would have. The discussion around these topics was intense and fruitful. 
        Some of the objectives that came out of the small group discussions centered around improved monitoring and evaluating of current projects in Kosovo, communicating to large donors about what types of funding is needed for long-term, sustainable change in communities, and increased knowledge amongst officials that gender equity is part of Kosovo law, which needs to be implemented. There were many more objectives and actions produced from these groups, and KWN staff are currently converting those into a working advocacy strategy. 
         There was also discussion about how best to improve further relationships between relevant government institutions and civil society organizations. In order for the EU Accession process to be successful, both sides need to work together, with donor organizations to better meet the standards outlined by the EU Gender Action Plan II. This action plan aims to provide a gendered perspective for all IPA programming by 2020. All sides are crucial to helping the most vulnerable populations of Kosovo, and should figure out better ways of working in tandem. If there could be a more fluid exchange of ideas and advice, as well as mutual support and trust, the two sides could make greater gains towards gender equality. 
       As of the end of the workshop, KWN has the basis for drafting an advocacy strategy to further a gender perspective in EU Accession. Participants and other key stakeholders will receive a copy of a draft of the strategy within the coming weeks, and then KWN will organize a second strategic planning workshop in order to finalize together this important strategy, which will guide KWN’s future advocacy work in coming years.  This workshop was supported by the Kvinna till Kvinna foundation, a long-time supporter and partner of the Kosovar Women's Network. 

Kosovo Women's Fund Documentary, 2015-2017

Kosova Women's Network