Gender Equality on Local Elections Is Required by Law

The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) continuously follows the published lists of political parties’ candidates for mayor. It is worrying that from the announced candidates so far, women remain underrepresented in the electoral lists of political parties. KWN appreciates the efforts of several parties to run women in the local elections. However, the selection of most male candidates for mayor is extremely problematic. This practice of, political parties, is making it impossible for women to be included in public life and to build a more equal society.

KWN reminds Kosovo political parties that Article 14 of the Law on Gender Equality (LGE), obliges them to implement measures to promote equal participation of men and women. Under Article 6 of this law – in cases where inequalities exist, temporary special measures should be taken in order to speed up the realization of de facto equality between women and men. Therefore, it is necessary to respect this law and create the conditions for women to participate equally in the decision-making process.

The February 14th parliamentary elections showed a large participation of women in the electoral process and an increase in the number of women in political representation. Through the vote, the citizens showed they want more women in decision-making positions, so the political parties, besides respecting the LGE, have an obligation to respect this will and provide more space for women in local elections.

As we getting closer to the date and parties are still in discussion of potential candidates, KWN once again calls on all political parties to nominate as many women as possible for mayor in local elections and to adhere to the standard of fifty percent (50%) representations under the conditions provided by the Law on Gender Equality. We demand that political parties engage in providing space for women in these local elections by creating opportunities for the inclusion in the political representation of women with disabilities, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian, Gorani and Serb women who are not represented at all. Women have different needs and ideas, and for inclusive leadership, their representation in decision-making bodies is essential.

We remind political parties in Kosovo that including women in decision-making processes is an important step in the effort to build a just and equal society.