Medica Kosova and Djepi i Buzëqeshjës held meetings with women assembly members and survivors of the war to hear women’s concerns from rural areas. Villages such as Babaj of Boka, Ponoshec, Korenic, Rracaj, Dobrosh, Molliq and Hereq.
Assembly members, together with the project coordinators, made a site visit to identify problems addressed at the meeting. Through these activities, female assembly members can advocate on these women’s behalf in order to address their needs; in particular their health rights and the right to inheritance. This Initiative also intends to improve the level of implementation of the administrative instruction on property registration on behalf of both spouses.
”There are obstacles that prevent women’s voices from being heard at Assembly meetings in the Municipality house. Women are reluctant to challenge traditional attitudes and lack the defensive abilities to strengthen their voices”, said Arbnore Shehu Bunjaku, Project Coordinator, regarding the main purpose of the project and how Medica Kosova together with Cradle of Smile Center (DB) had come to identify this problem.
On July 29, Medica Kosova and Center Cradle of Smile organized the closing roundtable within the initiative “Mobilizing women assembly members to address the needs of women traumatized by war” in Gjakova. Representatives of local institutions from Gjakova and civil society got together to discuss the situation of women who faced sexual violence during the war, as well as their treatment as the responsibility of state institutions.
The Executive Director of Medica Kosova, Veprore Shehu, outlined the achievements of the project, emphasizing the importance of identifying the needs of women survivors of sexual violence as well as addressing the consequences.
The meeting also discussed the importance of creating a Special Gender Budget Code at the Office for Gender Equality to create inclusion for the needs of both men and women.
Mimoza Shala, Chairwoman of the Assembly Women Group from the Municipality of Gjakova, indicated that women are reluctant to claim their rights due to the strong distrust of institutions and the societal stigma.
She showed how the system is flawed when identifying female survivors of sexual violence. However, women who have been identified can start receiving help from the state.
In concluding the meeting, the participants agreed that it is necessary to strengthen more formal cooperation between NGOs and institutions in order to work on on solving the social, economic, and health problems faced by these women.
This initiative is supported by the Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF), funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and co-financed by UNWomen.