From June 6-8, the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) actively participated in the fifth meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network, which took place in Washington, United States, at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Office for Gender Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense’s Gender Management Office, Romania.From KWN, the participants in these meetings were Valmira Rashiti, Program Officer for Rule of Law; Feride Rushiti, Director of the Kosovo Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors (KRCT) and a member of the board of KWN; and Kadire Tahiraj from the Center for the Promotion of Women’s Rights.
In meetings with ambassadors, activists, and representatives of delegations from different countries, including one with Geeta Rao Gupta, newly appointed as Ambassador General for Women’s Affairs at the Department of State, the KWN emphasized the need for stricter implementation of Resolution 1325 for Women in Peace and Security processes. This highlighted the need for sustainable funding for women’s organizations engaged in long-term peace and reconciliation processes, particularly at the local level, as well as the inclusion of their consultation in negotiation structures.
KWN also raised the importance of institutional accountability for respective states and international actors regarding the implementation of Resolution 1325, urging for the use of stronger language in its implementation.
Within the working groups, where discussions on creating national-level action plans for women in the peace and security process took place, Valmira Rashiti from KWN emphasized the need to redefine the concepts of peace and security, as well as “national threats,” ensuring that the latter includes the danger posed to women and girls due to high levels of gender-based violence.
Feride Rushiti from KRCT, a board member of KWN, and Kadire Tahiraj from the Women’s Rights Promotion Center ensured that the focus of the conversations also encompassed the victims of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo. They stressed the importance of recognizing their status, creating suitable conditions for their rehabilitation, and raising social, national, and international awareness to show solidarity with victims of sexual violence. Feride Rushiti emphasized that gender equality and a multi-sectoral approach are crucial components of sustainable peace and security.
In addition to concrete discussions and recommendations, KWN shared the successful practices of its member organizations’ years of work in the peace and security process. They presented joint advocacy letters addressed to international representatives, urging for the inclusion and consultation of women. KWN also shared practical research and publications in this field, with findings that contributed to shaping the priorities that women would emphasize if they were included in peace and security processes and negotiation structures, as required by Resolution 1325.