During KWN’s bimonthly meeting in Gjakova, Mirlinda Kusari-Purrini, Executive Director of SHE-ERA, informs KWN members about new opportunities from the Government of Kosova towards empowering women economically.

KWN Members Hold Meeting in Gjakova

Approximately 60 people attended the KWN Bimonthly Meeting on 8 Apr. 2013 in Gjakova. Participants included KWN member organizations, board members and other interested persons.

Besa Shehu, Finance & Administrative Manager at KWN, opened the meeting, announcing the names of eight organizations awarded grants through the Kosova Women’s Fund (KWF). She also encouraged organizations that did not receive grants to apply again. The next grant round will open on 15 May 2013.
“NGOs will receive assistance and support from KWN staff in order to improve their applications,” she said. KWN continues organizing capacity building opportunities for its members, so that they can benefit not only from the Kosova Women’s Fund, but also from other funds.

Zana Rudi, Project Coordinator for KWN Members, presented the KWN Code of Conduct Monitoring Report and Capacity Development Plan for Members for 2013. The report resulted from interviews with 82 of KWN’s 100 member organizations. The report presents members’ strengths and areas where members could benefit from capacity development. Based on the findings, KWN plans to organize 12 trainings in 2013; two have been held so far. Since KWN’s budget is limited, KWN staff and supporters have volunteered their time to provide training for members. KWN also is preparing an individual report for each member, outlining their strengths and areas where they could further develop their capacities.

Then, Mirlinda Kusari-Purrini, Executive Director of KWN member organization SHE-ERA, informed participants about the National Platform for Women Entrepreneurs in the Republic of Kosovo.
“The draft platform is supported by Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosova, who is willing to push it forward, and the group of women MPs in the Kosova parliament,” she said. “An informal organization will advocate for creating a suitable environment and supporting women entrepreneurs.”

She also informed participants about the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s plans to support small and medium sized enterprises and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development’s Rural Development Program. These are two ways that KWN members may be able to receive funds towards women’s economic empowerment.

Emine Berisha, a KWN and Alter Habitus researcher, provided information about the two organizations’ joint research “Where’s the Money for Women’s Rights: a Case Study for Kosova”, supported by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). This research initiative will help identify funding trends related to supporting women’s organizations and women’s rights over the last decade in Kosova. Emine is interviewing KWN members, and all information provided by members will remain confidential.

KWN members then shared the following information:

o  Dardana Mehmeti from NGO Artpolis provided information about a festival being held on 27-30 May in Oda Theatre, where women
artists will present their work. The festival will focus on social aspects of life, particularly women’s and girls’ rights and the
challenges they face in Kosova and the region.

o  Veprore Shehu from NGO Medica Kosova said that 20 women and six staff members will visit Istanbul with support from the
Turkish Embassy.

Finally, Nertila Qarri, KWN Coordinator for Public Relations, emphasized that KWN members can send information about their activities to info@womensnetwork.org for inclusion in KWN’s monthly newsletter Kosovar Women’s Voice.

The next KWN members’ meeting will be held on 3 Jun. 2013.