Lina Andeer from KtK and Elmaze Gashi, KWN Board Chair listen as Christian Geosits from ADA announces support for KWN, members.

KWN Members Convene, Celebrate 10th Annual Membership Meeting

Approximately 160 people took part in the Kosovo Women’s Network’s (KWN) 10th Annual Membership Meeting on December 15 in Prishtina, making it the best attended membership meeting ever held by KWN. Participants included representatives of KWN member organizations, partners, donors and media.

The meeting began with beautiful music by Lira Women’s Choir, a KWN member, and a poem written and performed by actress and activist Safete Rogova. Then Elmaze Gashi, KWN Chair of the Board opened the meeting. She read her letter, published in KWN’s Annual Report, which reflected on KWN’s progress in 2012. She emphasized that since the personal is political, the struggle for achieving women’s rights is and has always been political; therefore KWN’s work is and must be political, as well.

“The reason why we are here is to help organizations become more stable and stronger in the communities in which they operate,” said
Lina Andeer, a representative of KWN’s partner and supporter Kvinna till Kvinna (KtK). KtK supported the establishment of the KWN Kosovo Women’s Fund for this purpose. It enables organizations to access small grants, supporting their hard work to strengthen the position of women in society.

In addition to KtK’s continued support of the Kosovo Women’s Fund, KWN was pleased to welcome Christian Geosits, a representative of Austrian Development Agency (ADA), who announced the official start of their two-year support to KWN.
“I am very pleased to be working to raise funds for women in Kosovo,” he said. ADA will fund €80,000 in grants to KWN members in 2013-2014, as well as KWN-supported Gender Equality Advocacy Groups in 13 municipalities.

Executive Director Igballe Rogova then reported on KWN’s work in 2012 and priorities for 2013. KWN members had the opportunity to speak about KWN’s work and to exchange information about their activities in 2012.

“I would like to thank KWN staff for the support they have provided in different areas for us,” said Bajramshahe Jetullahu from the Blind Women’s Committee, “including the recent workshop for writing project proposals and other assistance that KWN and Igballe Rogova as its leader have given to us in order to improve the situation and position of blind women in Kosovo.” She then awarded Igballe Rogova with a certificate of recognition.

After lunch, famous Kosovar singer Rona Nishliu performed her new song, “Only the heart speaks accurately.” She composed the song for the ”Be cool, do not slap” campaign against violence, organized by the Kosovar Gender Studies Centre, Multimedia and Youth Initiative for Human Rights.

After her performance, Rona was the first to select a number for the KWN lottery, during which KWN awarded prizes to its members.

The following members won prizes:

  • Sadije Dulahu from NGO Lulishtja: a desktop computer
  • Gjylfidane Morina from We are Part of the World: a laptop
  • Advije Gashi from Norma: a smart phone
  • Valire Buza from Lira: two CDs
  • Hasime Tahiri from Opportunity: a PC mouse
  • Ola Syla from Light of Krusha: a USB won
  • Mimoza Paçuku from the Network of Women’s Organizations of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo: a USB
  • Atifete Aziri from Legjenda: other items

KWN then recognized three outstanding activists from the region: Delina Fico from Albania as an inspiration to and continuous supporter of the network; Lepa Mladenovic from Serbia as a feminist sister across borders; and Dr. Zylfie Gjoni Duraku, Head of Anima from Ulqin, Montenegro for her work as an activist for women’s and girls’ rights.

Finally, KWN members elected four new Board members: Elmaze Gashi, Ariana Qosaj-Mustafa, Nermin Mahmutaj and Ola Syla. At the end of the day, KWN members also submitted their evaluations of KWN and its work in 2012, along with two surveys about their organizations and next steps after the Millennium Development Goals, respectively.

The meeting concluded with a large cake decorated with fireworks, celebrating KWN’s 10th Annual Membership Meeting. Members had the opportunity to network, share energies and discuss experiences.