On 27 March, Lawyers Association NORMA, a member organization of Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), organized an event on the publication of “Legal Guidelines on Protection of Women against Violence and Domestic Violence”. This event was held at the EU Information and Cultural Center (EUICC).
Executive Director of NORMA, Ms. Valbona Salihu, opened the discussion informing the attendees of the content of the document. She also thanked UN Women and the EU Office in Kosovo for their support, the publication of these guidelines, and other activities that will take place in the continuation of the publication.
Representative of UN Women in Kosovo, Ms. Flora Macula, emphasized that the gender-based violence is a domain in which UN Women has been working in right from the outset. She also informed the attendees of the work that UN Women has done at both local and central level to establish multi-dimensional mechanisms to fight the gender-based violence, emphasizing that the support for this publication of these guidelines is a continuation of the work they have been doing.
Among others, Ms. Macula emphasized that, “Although we have seen improvement in the fight against gender-based violence, there is a need for more dedication and capital and human investment from the state institutions."
On the other hand, Ms. Edi Gusia, Director of the Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) in Kosovo, said that, “AGE remains one of the main institutions for establishing the legal mechanisms for fighting the gender-based violence.” She further emphasized the importance of fighting gender-based violence, particularly when considering that it has led to several tragic cases during this year.
The appointment of the National Coordinator against Domestic Violence and the licensing of the shelter in Prishtina, which had been closed since 2016, were considered as positive. Furthermore, Ms. Gusia highlighted that, “The cooperation between the civil society and the Government has proven to be a good practice.”
On the other hand, Legal Expert Ariana Qosaj Mustafa, who is also member of the KWN Board, said that, “These guidelines are quite comprehensive and multi-dimensional in its role, and it will be important in facilitating the work of civil society and those of other governmental institutions having an execution role, which will benefit from these guidelines”, because, according to her, “this document synthetizes quite well all international conventions and domestic laws that aim at fighting the gender-based violence.”
Ms. Qosaj Mustafa also emphasized the work that KWN has done by sending comments related to the amendment of the Criminal Code, and a request to include an adequate definition of domestic violence and adequate punishment for perpetrators of this offense, in line with international conventions. She also highlighted the importance of adequate punishment for domestic violence perpetrators.
The panel meeting continued with questions and answers from attendees and present panel members.