With support from the Kosovo Women’s Fund, in 2014 Partners Kosova undertook an initiative to inform women from the municipalities of Drenas, Skenderaj, Lipjan and Ferizaj about how they can advocate for their rights to property and inheritance. Based on this successful initiative and the great interest shown by women, Partners Kosova continued with a similar initiative in 2015. They received continued support from the Kosovo Women’s Fund in the amount €2,390.
This year the organization is focusing on Malisheva and Rahovec. In the first meeting, held on 29 May, involved 17 women from Malisheva, representatives from KWN and OSCE. The meeting focused on “Women’s rights to property and inheritance, and relevant guidelines for women advocating to Kosovo institutions for their rights.”
In order to make the meeting more interactive, internationally licensed trainers from Partners Kosova, Selvije Rashani and Hilmije Ramabaja, engaged in a discussion with participants. They asked questions related to property and inheritance, providing evidence from various pieces of research on this topic.
Participants demonstrated great interest in issues related to property and marriage, including in extramarital cases. They offered examples from their personal experiences regarding the division of property between spouses and their children. In almost all cases, men or boys within their families received the property or inheritance. One of the main obstacles mentioned, they said, was the mentality and social norms that prevail, despite the existence of laws on property and inheritance.
“I would suggest that children in school need to learn about equal opportunities between women and men for property and inheritance. This could be included in the subject of civic education. This way we can raise awareness at an early stage of life, so that we can create a culture of equal rights,” said Fatime Limaj, one of the participants.
The trainers also discussed with participants the existing laws in Kosovo related to property and inheritance and how they can advocate for their rights. They discussed organizing a meeting with officers from relevant institutions, including representatives of courts, cadastral offices, notaries and mediators. During this meeting with officials that will be organized by Partners Kosova, women participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and advocate directly to officials for their right to property and inheritance. Before this event, Partners Kosova plans to organize another meeting with participants to prepare issues related to property and inheritance for which they will advocate.
This initiative is supported by the Office of the European Union in Kosovo via the KWN Kosovo Women’s Fund.