Albanian and Serb Youth Come Together to Promote Gender Equality

A total of 30 girls, 15 from the Albanian community and 15 from the Serb community are now more informed of human rights, and in particular women’s rights. This is thanks to a series of trainings they attended on domestic and international legislation dealing with these topics.

Moreover, about 170 young girls and women from 10 villages in the Municipality of Prishtina have been informed through training sessions about their rights, with an emphasis on the right of property and inheritance.

These are just a few of the results from the initiative “What tomorrow brings with me!” This initiative is the work of two member organizations of the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Open Door and Ruka Ruci. They are both beneficiaries of the 12th round of the Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF).

The final activity of the project brought together high school girls from Prishtina, who discussed gender stereotypes in society, as well as the best ways to combat them.

Valentina Bejtullahu, leader of the workshop held in May, informed the students about gender and sex differences, gender roles, and gender stereotypes. The second part of the workshop focused on bullying and its impact on mental health.

“For the same job position, women get paid less than men, therefore making it seem that men are more qualified. However, we have both qualified men and women in Kosovo. According to the legislation, women and men have equal rights, but fact fails in practice.” said Bejtullahu.

Gender stereotypes were taught through an activity where students expressed their thoughts on the questions, such as: “Do men or women care better for children?”, “Are men more emotional than women?”, And “Are women more successful than men?”.

 “Women are raised by the society to be more emotional, but I consider this to be a very good thing. Men should express their emotions just as much as women,” said one of the participating students at the Meto Bajraktari Elementary School.

Nevenka Rikalo, Director of “Ruka Ruci” has indicated that the same training was held for Serbian youth, in order to bring the two ethnicities together in the fight against the patriarchal system.

“During the implementation of the project, pupils understood the goal of this initiative and have appreciated its importance. Albanian pupils also visited the premises of Serbian schools which is an achievement because it enables pupils to meet and collaborate”, Rikalo said. 

Belgjyzare Muharremi, Executive Director of the “Open Door”, presented the topics that were addressed during the workshops.

“Our aim is informing the youth of phenomena such as; gender inequalities, gender stereotypes, sexual harassments and the patriarchy. Both organizations work with women and girls of the Albanian and Serbian communities”, Muharremi said.  

These two organization that have been in collaboration for many years now, and have created a space of open cooperation and commitment to improving the position of women and girls in Kosovo society.