Photo Credits: Europe House Kosovo, Facebook
“Talking Women: One year of EU support to Gender Equality in Kosovo”, a new publication by the EU, was launched on March 9, during an event hosted by Ambassador Nataliya Apostolova, Head of European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative (EUSR), with remarks by the Kosovo Ombudsperson Hilmi Jashari, marking International Women’s Day.
In January 2019, the EU launched a series of debates under the title: ““EU Gender Talks: Because We Make a Difference”. The 12 sessions included topics such as Women in Business, Gender and Youth, Gender in the Electoral Cycle, Women in Media, and Women and the Environment.
In the publication’s introduction, it is stated that the EU in Kosovo remains a committed supporter and donor when it comes to women’s empowerment. Further, it is mentioned that Kosovo needs more women in high political positions, more women in decision-making bodies, in arts and sports, health, education and culture and all other spheres of life that require leadership.
The publication also appreciates the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) and its efforts towards achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment, and a more gender-equal society in all spheres.
The publication draws attention to the fact that all EU staff in Kosovo were trained on Gender Equality from June 2018 to August 2019. In addition, specific training was provided for the management, as well as mentoring on how to mainstream gender in programs for different sectors. The main trainer was Nicole Farnsworth, Program Director and Lead Researcher at KWN, assisted by Lina Andeer, former EULEX Gender Adviser and later by Reyes Charle-Cuellar, EUSR Gender Adviser. The EU Office in Kosovo has contracted senior external gender expertise from KWN since 2015.
“KWN is an umbrella organization, which is unique in Kosovo and in the Western Balkans. It brings together 158 member organizations and partners and has the mission to support, protect and promote the rights and interests of women and girls, regardless of their political and religious beliefs, age, education, sexual orientation or abilities. […] The EU and KWN will continue working in partnership to promote gender equality in Kosovo.”
Among other activities, KWN’s distribution of sub-grants to local level women’s rights organizations, and supporting a Coalition of women politicians that brings together present and future municipal representatives from all over the Kosovo, were appreciated.
During the launching, Ambassador Apostolova said that EU Gender Talks have offered a platform, which made women’s voices heard.
“In Kosovo also we are facing some difficulties regarding gender stereotypes. Nevertheless, we are having a momentum toward advancing gender equality and strengthening Kosovar women. We are witnessing a substantial increase of the appointment of women in decision-making positions,” she said.
Ombudsperson Jashari spoke about the key impact of international supporters and Kosovar civil society organizations in making a progress in gender equality these last 20 years. Nevertheless, the need for further improvement to achieve gender equality was mentioned.
The publication contains the main points from the aforementioned sessions. Its goal is to contribute to improving gender equality in Kosovo.
Please click HERE to read a journal piece on this event (Available in Albanian only).