The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) has signed a contract with its member organisation Mitrovica Women Association for Human Rights (MWAHR) for a new initiative. This initiative aims to engage men, women, girls and boys as full and equal partners in government planning, programming and budgeting. The project is titled “Gender budgeting, a transformative budget tool for municipal institutions”.
According to MWAHR, well-planned gender budgeting considers the needs and demands of men, women, girls and boys, enabling the development, growth and economic prosperity of a country.
During their initiative, MWAHR will work closely with government institutions, including the Municipality Assembly of South Mitrovica, NGOs, men, women, girls, boys, and the media. They will conduct numerous meetings involving these interest groups ensuring the participation of individuals from minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities residing in South Mitrovica. Furthermore, MWAHR will monitor the work of government institutions and the Assembly of the Municipality of South Mitrovica. They will actively engage in meetings related to the municipal budget, conveying information about citizens’ needs, demands, and budgetary recommendations.
Vetone Veliu, the executive director of MWAHR emphasized the importance of gender responsive budget.
“Through the support from KWN, which consistently stands by women and women’s organizations, we will engage in raising women’s awareness of the importance of women’s participation in decision-making processes and in the meetings that the municipality organizes. We will advocate municipal officials for the importance of implementing gender-responsive budgeting and taking into consideration the demands and needs of women during the drafting of the annual budget, always taking into account the priorities. The relevant municipal directorates which will be monitored during the information sessions will have the opportunity to show transparency about the expenditure of public funds, but also the implementation of gender equality”.
MWAHR’s objectives include:
- Increasing the participation of women in public hearings that the municipality organizes to receive recommendations for the annual budget; and
- Increasing the opportunity to make the municipal government feel responsible for its commitments to gender equality, as well as increasing the transparency of municipal institutions regarding municipal budgets, which must address diverse women’s and men’s needs.
This initiative is part of the Gender Budget Watchdog Network’s action, supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).