The beneficiary organization of the 17th round of the Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF), Rule of Democracy in Kosovo (SDK), organized on 23 August a public discussion on gender-responsive budgeting among municipal officials, assemblywomen and girls and women from the municipality of Podujeva.
The deputy mayor of the Municipality of Podujeva, Marigona Lahu, emphasized that this was the first public debate that was held only with women.
“As a municipality we have tried to focus on women, and we will continue in the future. However, we need your support, criticism and suggestions,” she said. These hearings make it possible for budget planning to respond to the problems of women.
Fatlum Osmani, Director for Budget and Finance in the municipality of Podujeva, after showing a general summary of the budget data, said that he is keen to listen to the demands and problems of the citizens so that the municipality of Podujeva has a more comprehensive budget.
The women raised the problem of the functionalization of urban traffic to better address the connection of villages with the city of Podujeva, the construction of childcare centers especially in rural areas, the provision of gynecological and oncological services, public lighting and the problem with stray dogs.
Some of the citizens asked for support and subsidies for businesses, and among them the demand for subsidies in agriculture was emphasized.
Osmani said that for 2023 there is almost a doubling of funds for subsidies in agriculture:
“From €430,000, in 2023 we have €700,000… and this normally means that for many women and many of the families who until now have not received any necessary subsidy, now the opportunities will be incomparably greater.”
Furthermore, vice-president Lahu informed the attendees that the Municipality of Podujeva, in cooperation with the central level, for 2023 has allocated €165,000 for a day stay center for elderly people.
“There are many women who sometimes cannot work because they have to take care of older people at home, so from next year there is some relief because these people will be able to send them to day care and to perform their different activities”, said Lahu.
Satisfied with this organization and the fact that she was given the opportunity to present her requests to the municipality, Xhemile Hykolli from the village of Shajkovc in Podujeva remarked:
“This organization seemed very good to me and I am very satisfied, it does not mean that today I made the request and today it will be implemented, but the main thing is that our requests are presented and then the implementation goes step by step”, said Hykolli, who requested the opening of a childcare center in the village of Shajkovc.
This meeting was organized within the project “Strengthening mechanisms for responsible gender budgeting” which was implemented by SDK and supported by FGK of the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN).
This activity is organized within the KWN initiative, “Raising the capacities and sustainability of CSOs: Advancing gender equality in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic”, financed by European Union (EU) in Kosovo.