KWN Organizes, Participates in Debates on Kosova’s New Constitution

KWN was very active in reviewing Kosova’s draft constitution from a gender perspective and making recommendations to the Commission for Drafting the Constitution. KWN involved its member organizations, activists and citizens to make recommendations to the Committee. Members of the Committee, legal experts, gender experts and EU representatives have attended the meetings, listening to citizens’ concerns.

On 25 Feb., KWN and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) organized a debate on the Constitution with Parliamentary women at the Parliament. One of the main issues raised was including in the Constitution a quota of 40 percent representation of both genders at all levels of government, including the Parliament and ministries.

On 26 Feb., the Prime Minister’s Office for Good Governance organized a debate in which a KWN representative spoke about the draft constitution from a gender perspective. She said that the draft Constitution was quite vague in regards to ensuring a gender balance at all levels of political decision-making, as well as ensuring human rights for women.

On 1 Mar., KWN members further discussed the Constitution with Commission representatives Minister of
Justice Nekibe Kelmendi, Lirije Osmani and Gjyljeta Mushkolaj and gender expert Vjosa Dobruna at Hani i
Roberteve Restaurant.

In addition to the quota, another issue debated was whether to include UNSCR 1325 in the Constitution. While a member of the Commission felt it was too ambitious to be implemented by Kosova’s institutions and should not be included, activists argued that it had to be included so Kosova would abide by international standards. Including UNSCR 1325 in the Constitution would give activists the legal framework for demanding that the government implement it.

At the end of the meeting, KWN presented an award to Minister Nekibe Kelmendi for her outstanding support of women’s rights.

On 2 March, KWN sent recommendations to the Commission that the Constitution should include:

  • The quota of 40 percent participation in all levels of government from the Law on Gender Equality;
  • UNSCR1325 in the list of international conventions and instruments;
  • Mechanisms guaranteeing that the Agency for Gender Equality will ensure implementation and monitoring of international and Kosovar legal acts toward gender equality;
  • Provisions that guarantee women’s and men’s right to own property;
  • Specific references to equality within marriage for property and personal relations for both spouses;
  • Provisions that ensure women and men employees receive equal pay for equal work, as well equal conditions and rights in the workplace; and
  • Provisions that ensure women will not lose citizenship following marriage with a foreigner.