The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) was invited by the European Union (EU) to participate in consultations held with civil society organizations prior to the meeting between EU representatives and the Government of Kosovo. This was done in the framework of subcommittees of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), for Justice, Freedom and Security.
In this meeting, KWN addressed important issues in relation to women’s rights in Kosovo. They emphasized the importance of assessing governement measures through a gender perspective during the recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. KWN highlighted the importance of a gender analysis, which should have preceded all strategic plans of the country during the pandemic, in accordance with the Law on Gender Equality and the International Law applicable in Kosovo.
Furthermore, KWN asked the EU to encourage the Government of Kosovo to engage more in collecting informal economy data, in order to identify violations of labor rights in the private sector as a result of lack of contracts and unregistered work. Moreover, KWN, in the framework of prior consultation with women shelters, provided some recommendations for better treatment of victims of gender-based violence.
The leader of this meeting, Mr. David Cullen, the Head of the Unit for Kosovo in the European Commission, ensured that during the sub-committee for Justice, Freedom and Security, they would discuss the sustainable financing for women shelters in Kosovo. He added that this is an important issue, especially given the critical situation and the increasing number of domestic violence cases happening during the COVID-19.
Present at the consultative meeting was also Mr. Korneel de Schamp, Policy Officer at the European Comission, who recalled KWN recommendations made before the launch of the Progress Report in 2019. He talked about its importance in specifying recommendations for relevant actors and the emphasis it put on monitoring the implementation of the new definitions of the Criminal Code, in terms of domestic violence.
The SAA Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security is one of the committees within the SAA mechanisms, through which Kosovo government priorities are discussed.