On December 17, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) held its 20th Annual Membership Meeting.
Over 120 attendees representing KWN member organizations, partners, friends, colleagues, and supporters of the work and activism for many years gathered to discuss the activism of gender equality and women empowerment in Kosova.
Nermin Mahmuti, KWN Chair of the Board opened the 20th Annual Membership Meeting recognizing KWN’s work over the years.
“The KWN has proven it is doing excellent work. Its work has been very transparent which is necessary for all those supported by KWN and those who support the KWN. In addition to the mission of advocacy on behalf of women and girls, the network has already managed to raise the capacities of its 194-member organizations,” she said while highly appreciating the contribution of the board members.
On this occasion, she mentioned the outstanding activist for the eradication of illiteracy, Naxhije Buçinca, who was also the chairperson of the first board of the KWN.
“When we educate a girl, we educate a family, a society. The Buçinca Foundation has managed to educate 1,000 women. I want to educate girls at the university level. We’ve started this work together with Igballe Rogova 20 years ago. Now, you should continue it, and don’t stop it!”
The KWN Board members over the years, Delina Fico, Besim Kajtazi, Flora Macula, Vjosa Dobruna, and Argjentina Grazhdani told their stories related to the work of the KWN. They praised the KWN for its contribution to the empowerment of women and girls in Kosovo.
For the fifth time, the annual “Sevdije Ahmeti” Prize was given in honor and memory of feminist activist and humanist Sevdije Ahmeti (1944-2016).
This year, it was given to Resmije Rahmani (Biba) Mobilizer at Organization of Persons with Muscular Dystrophy of Kosovo (OPDMK).
The award was preceded by a poem dedicated to Biba, recited greatly by the actress and activist Safete Rogova.
The Executive Director of KWN, Igballe Rogova, appreciated the contribution of each member organization over the years in making KWN’s objectives for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in politics, economy and other programmatic areas of the KWN’ Strategy be achieved almost entirely.
“I thank each of you for all of your hard work. Thanks to the energy of our 194-member organizations, board, staff, partners, and supporters, together with the media that were our voice, and thanks to this power we managed to implement our four-year strategy.”
The KWN’s staff reported on the work done last 4 years and the results can be seen below:
- The number of women MPs has increased from 32.5% to 35.8%.
- 2,058 women participated in decision-making processes.
- 24 public policies (laws, strategies, others) have been amended, integrating the comments of KWN.
- 50 steps were taken by representatives of the government of Kosovo and the EU in addressing the issues raised by women.
- 150 women who experienced gender-based violence received legal aid. Awareness raising about gender-based violence has been improved.
- There are 19 policies addressing sexual harassment.
- More than 30 initiatives have supported women who experienced sexual violence during the war.
- 20,000 women and men have been informed about their rights at work.
- 680 cases were legally assisted regarding gender-based discrimination in employment.
- 329 women claimed their right to inheritance or property rights.
- Also, since 2012, KWN through the Kosovo Women’s Fund has given 252 grants to 149 organizations.
- 4,368 women have access to health care.
The KWN 20th Annual Meeting was financed by the European Union Office in Kosovo, Austrian Development Agency and co-financed by Sida – Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete, Kvinna till Kvinna, and Sigrid Rausing Trust.
Throughout the year, KWN’s efforts for gender equality have been supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women.