Igballe Rogova, KWN Executive Director, shares information with network members.

Members Gather for Bimonthly Meeting

Approximately 75 people attended the KWN bimonthly meeting on 4 Feb. 2013. Participants included KWN member organizations, donors, board members and other supporters.

The meeting began with a greeting from the newly elected KWN Board Chair, ArianaQosaj Mustafa. “Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the women’s movement,” she said. She thanked ElmazeGashi for her contribution as the prior Board Chair, from 2011 to 2012.
Then Aida Dërguti from the Vetëvendosje Movement shared information about Women’s Week, organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Approximately 100 women representing political parties, institutions and NGOs attended. NDI also plans to organize a Women’s Leadership Academy in 2013; 30 participants will be selected to attend the Academy.
KWN Executive Director IgballeRogova thanked Kvinna till Kvinna (KtK) for their trust and support for KWN to establish the Kosovo Women’s Fund and for continuing their support in 2013. “I would also like to thank the KWN members who were awarded grants and brought successful results; and the KWN members who did not receive grants, but who understood,” she said. She emphasized that through the Kosovo Women’s Fund KWN “not only helps member organizations financially, but also offers training for them to build their capacities, based on their needs.”
KWN Project Coordinator AlbertinaBinaku provided detailed information about the Kosovo Women’s Fund’s planned grant rounds for 2013. “All members received support in project proposal writing through workshops, and this support will continue in 2013 so that they can write better projects,” she said.
KWN Public Relations Coordinator NertilaQarri then announced changes to the KWN website, which now includes a section with information about our members and the Kosovo Women’s Fund. She emphasized that KWN continues to use its Facebook Page,Facebook Group, and new website (www.womensnetwork.org) to share information about the women’s fund.
Since KWN and its members have established an annual tradition of organizing a protest marking 8 Mar., International Women’s Day, IgballeRogova opened a discussion on how to mark this day in 2013. Participants decided that the advocacy theme this year will be women’s access to quality healthcare, and that citizens will be invited to donate blood, assisting Kosovo’s weak healthcare system. This action will be held on 8 Mar. at 12:00 at Mother Teresa square in Prishtina.

Other information shared at the KWN bimonthly meeting included:

• KWN will organize a Gala Event involving famous actresses and singers where people will be invited to support KWN’s work. KWN
  member LIRA women’s choir will also perform.

• Through the Regional Women’s Court, a feminist approach to justice, women activists in Kosovo and the region continue to raise their
  voices, demanding justice for women raped during the war. As part of this regional initiative, an unofficial Women’s Court was established
  as a form of tribunal where women have space to tell their personal stories.

• The Kosovar Center for Fighting Breast Cancer JETA/VITA in Pristina continues to organize activities to raise awareness among women
  and institutions about this issue.

• Women’s Center Liria in cooperation with the Mayor of Gjilan and the Women’s Caucushas established a coordinating mechanism
  related to domestic violence. The group has started drafting a strategy to financially support the shelter in the Municipality of Gjilan, so that
  it will have a sustainable fund for providing services to domestic violence victims by 2014.

• The Women’s Initiative Association, in cooperation with the Mayor of Dragash and the Women’s Caucus, has establisheda mechanism
  against domestic violence in the Municipality of Dragash.

• The Association for Women with Disabilities Women for Womeninformed members that the Action Plan for Gender Equality has been
  approved in Prizren. They are forming a monitoring groupto follow its implementation.

• The Foundation for Development and Educationimplemented a project in the Municipality of Novoberdo in 2012, through which they
  opened a store where women work and sell their products, including handcrafts and jams. She requested that members with sewing
  machines that they are not using donate these for women in need.

• “ATO” in Vushtrri implemented two successful projects in 2012, one about education and the other about health, including reproductive

• “Hendifer”offers services for women. They work on a voluntary basis and have more than 1,600 members, as well as 45 volunteers.

• Kosova’s Alive Alliancesaid that their work in 2012concentrated on health education. They will continue this work in 2013. They also
  started a new initiative to improvehealth,called “Health Game”;a women’s group and children’s group have been formed.

KWN also informed members that they will need to begin paying a €20 annual membership fee. Beginning in 2013, KWN will only pay transportation costs for one person per organizationand only for organizations in poor financial conditions. This is because with 100 members, transportation costs have risen substantially and are difficult for KWN to continue to cover for all of its members. KWN requests members’ understanding in contributing to the network by helping to support these costs.

The next KWN members’ meeting will be held on 8 Apr. 2013. Members can send information about their activities to info@womensnetwork.orgfor inclusionin the KWN monthly newsletter, Kosovar Women’s Voice.