For the first time since Kosovo’s Independence citizens have elected a woman to serve them as Mayor. A Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) delegation visited Mrs. Mimoza Kusari-Lila, the new Mayor of the Municipality of Gjakova on 20 January.
“Mrs. Kusari-Lila is legendary,” activists said. “She broke the ice by becoming the first woman mayor of a municipality in Kosova.”
During the meeting they discussed strategies for economically empowering women in the Municipality of Gjakova; reviving the professional theatre Corps of Gjakova; preserving the cultural heritage of Gjakova; encouraging women to participate in annual craft fairs; ensuring gender responsive budgeting; and supporting women’s organizations in the Municipality of Gjakova.
The Mayor expressed her appreciation for KWN’s work and her readiness for future cooperation.
“I will ensure women in the Municipality of Gjakova play a greater role in decision-making and are included in various spheres of life, especially business,” said Kusari-Lila.
KWN also asked when the “Museum House” of the Qerkezi family would be officially recognized (see below). Kusari-Lila already had a plan in place.
“In addition to declaring it a museum, this house also will have a person who will maintain it and will serve as a tourist guide,” said Kusari-Lila.
After meeting Kusari-Lila, the KWN delegation met representatives of the Association Mothers’ Call (Thirrjet e Nënave) at the museum house of the Qerkezi family in Gjakova. They recognized the loss suffered by this family during the war, when 11 men were taken by Serbian forces and remain missing today. KWN and Mothers’ Call discussed organizing another joint action with regard to missing persons. Together, the two organizations will undertake a street action on 8 March 2014 to call once again for progress with regard to missing persons in Kosovo.
Despite dozens of protests and hunger strikes, more than 17,000 people remain missing since the war. Mothers’ call is an organization of women with missing family members, still tirelessly advocating for their loved ones be found.