In another crucial development, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga established the National Council for Survivors of Sexual Violence during the War on Mar. 7, where KWN is a member.
“Fifteen years after the war, the topic of victims of sexual violence remains a taboo topic to be addressed,” President Jahjaga said during the Council’s first meeting, attended by local and international actors. “Survivors of sexual violence continue to suffer from serious psychological conditions, as well as social and economic hardships. They require institutional and societal support to cope with their difficult reality.”
The Council brings together representatives of key ministries that can support violence survivors, civil society and international stakeholders towards an improved, better coordinated response.
The Council was established in response to concerns and issues raised by women who had suffered sexual violence. President Jahjaga met with women to hear their concerns, in discussions facilitated by KWN. Through the Kosovo Women’s Fund (supported by Kvinna till Kvinna, KtK, and the Austrian Development Agency, ADA), KWN has supported women survivors in advocating for institutions to better address their needs. During the launch of the Council, KWN Executive Director spoke about the role of women’s organization played in supporting and advocating for the survivors of sexual violence.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague congratulated President Jahjaga and praised her initiative to establish the Council. He considered the work of the Council essential in supporting survivors and addressing the lack of accountability, radio Evropa e Lirë reported.
“It is significant progress since my visit last year when you explained that your country continues to face a number of challenges in addressing the issue of sexual violence during conflict,” said Hague.