“Ruka Ruci” Continues Activities to Strengthen Women’s Participation in Politics

On October 15, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) member organization, “Ruka Ruci”,  held a workshop that discussed the Law on Gender Equality (LGE), legislation regulating women’s participation in politics and European Union (EU) legislation on gender equality.

A total of 12 women from Mitrovica, Novo Brdo, Gracanica, Lipjan, Partesh and Ranillug discussed capacity building for women’s involvement in politics and the decision-making process. Representatives from KFOR were also present.

Nevenka Rikallo, Project Coordinator within the “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Politics” initiative, shared the purpose and expected results of this initiative.

Moderator Radmila Kapetanovi, briefed the participants on the legal and institutional framework for promoting increased participation of women in politics.

During the discussion Gordana Toskiq, Executive Director of “Ruka Ruci”, informed the audience that the Lobby for Gender Equality (Lobby) would be gathering soon. This organization has a key role in uniting women who want to take on decision-making roles in their community, as well as holding pertinent workshops and trainings.

“If each of us takes only a few steps in the right direction of dialogue, cooperation, and peace building, then we will be closer to achieving justice and gender equality between women and men in Kosovo.” she said.

Duushica Stojkovi, NGO Ženski inkluzivni centar” from Novo Brdo, talked about terms and concepts related to gender, such as; gender mainstreaming, gender sensitivity, gender equality, and gender justice; and how these terms need to be explained more often and thoroughly to the youth in the community.  All of these concepts are key parts of Kosovo legislature, but are not necessarily implemented or discussed within families, communities, or local politics.

Further, Vesna Stajic, participant, discussed the existing institutional mechanisms for gender equality, emphasizing the positive role that the Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) and Gender Equality Officers have at the local level.

However, according to her, the LGE has a few shortcomings, as it does not provide sanctions for political parties, or other institutions that do not implement it.

During the discussion, another participant, Sonja Stojanovic, said that there are still obstacles in women’s involvement in elections. She mentioned the lack of political will and perception of society, as factors that hinder the construction of an equal society between men and women.

Conclusively, participants agreed that it is necessary to organize more meetings with youth, women and non-majority communities in rural areas.

This workshop was hosted in a continuity of the initiative “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Politics”, supported by the European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo.