KWN Supports Shelters, Efforts against Gender-based Violence

Kosova lacks the necessary infrastructure to support women and children suffering from gender-based violence. The existing shelters that protect victims of violence lack sufficient financial support for providing adequate healthcare to victims, adequately protecting them and assisting with their reintegration into society. In addition, there is a lack of consistent coordination among all actors dealing with gender-based violence.

Thus, in 2007 KWN engaged in a project entitled “Providing Security, Promoting Health: Combating Gender-Based Violence in Kosovo,” supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). KWN became involved to help increase financial support for shelters as well as to support the establishment of specific systems of cooperation among shelters, so as to better protect and assist persons suffering from violence. Through this six-month project, KWN provided direct support to four shelters in Kosova. KWN partners for this project held regular coordination meetings, during which they worked to establish specific procedures and standards of operation for shelters, as well as to troubleshoot and discuss key issues affecting shelters.

KWN in cooperation with its partners also conducted exploratory research on the extent of gender-based violence in Kosova and its potential relation to women’s reproductive health. The research, the first of its kind in Kosova, aimed to provide the most up-to-date information available on this issue, as well as to pose policy recommendations for KWN’s media/advocacy campaign. KWN used the research recommendations to advocate to the relevant institutions for regular support for shelters, as well as other policy recommendations identified through the research. The report is available online.

KWN also organized a media campaign to raise awareness about the problem of violence against women in Kosova. KWN and its member organizations worked to reach women and men in rural and urban areas with information about gender-based violence and its impact on reproductive health. KWN member organizations played an important role in making this project successful by participating in the coordination meetings, establishing standards for shelters, participating in the research, and/or organizing aspects of the public information campaign.