Premarital sex is a taboo topic in many rural areas throughout Kosovo. Few parents discuss sex with their children, especially their daughters. Nor does the public school system provide sufficient sexual education.
Therefore, between August and November, NGO Bliri took the initiative to invite doctors who could explain to girls how to protect themselves from early pregnancy, among other reproductive health issues. Altogether 740 mothers and daughters participated actively in these discussions. Few had had the opportunity to discuss these topics together previously.
“We raised the awareness of women who never went to school and who never attended these trainings before,” said Mahije Ismajli, Bliri’s Director. She thus considered the initiative a success.
During these meetings, women also learned how to conduct their own self-exams towards identifying breast cancer early on.
“Life is a gamble,” one participant said. “One can never know whether or not one might get breast cancer. Therefore, it’s very good that I now know how to examine my own breasts to see whether I might have breast cancer.”
Bliri plans to research women’s and girls’ health situation and needs in their region. They will use the research to inform recommendations for institutions and other actors.
Bliri’s initiative has received support from the Kosovo Women’s Fund (€2,500).