On 6 Dec, 2014, the Kosova Women’s Network (KWN), held its 12th Annual Meeting.
The meeting began with a screening of the documentary film about the Kosovo Women’s Fund. The Fund started supporting the activities of KWN members in 2012.
“During this year that we’re leaving behind, we have been valuable representatives of women’s needs and interests,” said Ariana Qosaj-Mustafa, KWN Chair of the Board, in her welcoming remarks.
Ulrike Lunacek, Deputy President of the European Parliament, could not be present at the meeting, but she sent a video message that was shown to participants. “I really appreciate that the Kosova Women’s Network fosters cooperation among women and girls in Kosovo and includes various other actors in its daily work, whether operating on the local, regional or international level. Due to your work, the vision of a Kosovo society where women and men are equal becomes more realistic, but still a lot more needs to be done to fully realize equal rights, equal chances and opportunities for women in Kosovo,” said Ulrike Lunacek. “Finally, let me congratulate you also on getting a grant approved by the European Commission recently, which shows that not only I personally am convinced by your daily work but also other EU actors are.”
Mr. Besim M. Kajtazi, Director of the Legal Office in the Office of the Prime Minister, expressed his gratitude regarding the role that KWN has played in implementing the Law on Domestic Violence. Speaking about the fight against domestic violence, he offered a very strong message to everyone, saying that “perpetrators should not be seen as men, but as weak.”
Arsim Aziri, representative from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) office in Kosovo, spoke about the start of cooperation with KWN and its continuation in future years, wishing KWN and its member organizations success.
Then, Igballe Rogova, KWN Executive Director, took the floor. “KWN is a network that advocates. That is why today we are advocating: this annual meeting is organized with the motto ‘with Shyhrete’, as a confirmation that KWN supports Mrs. Shyhrete Berisha, who lost her husband and children during the war and currently is seeking justice for her rights to property. KWN fully supports her and all other women who still struggle to realize their legal rights to property in Kosovo,” said Mrs. Rogova.
“Lately we have seen a constant support for a person who with his work is convincing us that there is hope for changes in the University of Prishtina. That person is Ramadan Zejnullahu, Rector of the University of Prishtina ‘Hasan Prishtina’. Therefore, we support him and we say we are ‘with the Rector’ (‘Me Rektorin’).”
Rogova also talked about the successes and results of KWN; gave concrete examples of the solidarity shown within the network; talked about the new KWN Strategy for 2015-2018; and thanked ADA and the European Union Office in Kosovo for their support, which will be crucial in contributing to the implementation of KWN’s Strategy for 2015-2018.
Delina Fico, Human Rights Activist and KWN Advisory Board member, spoke on behalf of the network of organizations in Albania. “KWN is in fact an inspiration for women’s groups in Albania because you are a national network, which has begun and continued its work with organizations who have the energy and will to cooperate,” she said . “You are a role model for us as women’s groups, and what we need to learn in Albania is the fact that you have succeeded to bring a gender perspective in various debates related to the development of Kosovo.”
KWN also recognized the following businesses which continuously support KWN by offering in-cost contributions: Night Design, Llampa, Hotel Sirius, Hotel Prishtina and Hotel Dolce Vita in Durres.
Meanwhile, KWN elected and re-elected four new Board members. The commission that counted members’ votes consisted of Zana Hoxha Krasniqi, KWN Board Member; Xhejrane Lokaj, Director of Women’s Initiative Association, a KWN member organization; and Besa Shehu, Finance & Administrative Manager at KWN, counted the votes. The elected new Board members are: Ariana Qosaj Mustafa (48 votes), Besim M. Kajtazi (46 votes), Nermin Mahmuti (40 votes) and Hajrulla Çeku (32 votes). Ola Syla who was also re-nominated did not get enough votes, therefore she was not elected as a board member.
During the break, members also evaluated KWN’s work in 2014. The results will be made public together with KWN’s final annual report in early 2015.