On 21 Sep., KWN trained member organizations, representatives of the Kosovo Lobby for Gender Equality and FemACT members on how to mainstream gender in public policies.
During the first part of the workshop, participants learned basic concepts related to gender mainstreaming from Nicole Farnsworth and Donjeta Morina from KWN. They explained the various forms of public polices (e.g., laws, strategies and action plans), as well as gender mainstreaming, gender analysis and gender responsive budgeting. Gender mainstreaming, defined as the integration of a gender perspective in all public policies, is a crucial instrument for achieving gender equality. Participants can use gender mainstreaming in analysing the impact of various public policies on men, women, girls and boys.
Then, they detailed steps that should be taken in order to mainstream gender and discussed different practical examples. Any new public policy could potentially impact men and women differently, so conducting a gender impact analysis to inform draft policies is important. An example discussed was that of a public policy that would cut salaries of primary healthcare sector employees in half. This seemingly “neutral” policy would impact women more, as women are employed in the public health sector in much higher numbers than men. Another example included increasing car taxes, which would disproportionally impact men (as there are more men drivers in Kosovo).
“This is a very new approach of analysing public policies,” said a participant. “It will be very useful for our future work at the local level.”
After lunch, participants divided into several groups where they discussed specific public policies and sought to mainstream gender in them. The documents and laws discussed included: the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the Ministry of Economic Development; the Education Strategic Plan in Kosovo; the Labour Law; the Draft Law for Registration and Records of the Unemployed and Jobseekers; the Budget of Fushe Kosove; and the Gender Action Plan for Dragash Municipality. Participants worked directly on each document, preparing recommendations from a gender perspective that they later presented orally to the entire group. Among the recommendations presented were the following:
- Disaggregate all information by gender in public policies, including laws, budget documents, strategies and administrative instructions;
- Specify terms, such as “women and men”, instead of using general terms like “citizens” and/or “persons”;
- Analyse labour market demands for women and men before launching the Draft Law for Registration and Records of the Unemployed and Jobseekers;
- Encourage more women to register at Regional Employment Centres (RECs); Add a gender annex to annual budget documents and raise awareness among citizens to participate in public hearings.
Participants were very active and interested in learning how to mainstream gender. They also obtained ideas from other participants regarding advocacy activities and initiatives that have already begun in other municipalities.
The aforementioned recommendations, among others made directly on policy documents, will be used by KWN, its members and KLGE to inform future policies from a gender perspective, especially considering that most of the aforementioned policies can still be influenced.This workshop was supported by the European Union Office in Kosovo.