During three consecutive days (14, 15 and 16 February) around 20 participants were part of a workshop hosted by the Kosovo Organization of Persons with Muscular Dystrophy (OPDMK), to develop an Advocacy Strategy for Women and Girls with Disabilities.
Girls and women with disabilities coming from six regions of Kosovo gathered to discuss the challenges and problems they face. Their recommendations will be incorporated into the previously mentioned strategy.
At the beginning of the workshop, Antigona Shestan, Executive Director of OPDMK, introduced the initiative “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Politics”, and informed the group that this workshop was being held after informational sessions had finished.
“Everything is possible if we are together, if we show solidarity with each-other. You have to participate wherever you are invited to protect your rights, go there and offer your irreplaceable contribution to this issue. This initiative is important for improving the position of women and girls with disabilities”, Shestan said.
After a discussion among participants, Tringa Kasmi, facilitator of the workshop, said that such activities are not only a help to understanding the reality beyond us, but are also a chance for more solidarity between women and girls.
“Discussions, reflections, dedication and willingness of women and girls, and above all sharing experiences and their real needs, were among the things that made me feel immensely good for being part of this workshop. Without any doubt that our joint engagement will greatly contribute to raising the voice of women,” Kasemi said.
Further, Pranvera Musaj, a participant, emphasized that this workshop was very productive, especially because many women with disabilities were part of it.
“Our participation in politics and institutions have greatly improved our position, because by being where decisions are made it is much easier to make a change”, Musaj said. “Due to the fact that we as women with disabilities are discriminated against twice: once because of gender and once because of disability, we owe it to ourselves to work twice as hard to achieve our objectives.”
Blerta Ahmeti from Novobrdo was elected Chairwoman of the Women with Disabilities Group.
“In my opinion this workshop hosted by OPDMK is among the best opportunities given to women and girls with disabilities in our society for expressing their needs and dissatisfactions, as well as to work on finding solutions for everyday problems we face”, Ahmeti said.
“It should not be forgotten that this battle is not only ours, but it belongs to the whole society. Together we are stronger”, Ahmeti continued.
She further added that the first step toward achieving equality has already been taken by drafting a strategy for all regions.
Resmije Rrahmani, OPDMK, appreciated KWN support, adding that this is the first initiative of its kind in the country.
“Such activities are very helpful and useful for women and girls with disabilities, because in these occasions we create ideas and conditions for improving our lives as women with disabilities. A lot of people were interested in taking part here, and thanks to this commitment we will now have the first strategy for these girls and women. Besides I am very pleased that this is coming from OPDMK and KWN”, Rrahmani said.
Attendees agreed to further cooperate with each other to improve the rights of women with disabilities in Kosovo.
This meeting and this initiative are supported by European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo.