Dear MP Candidates for the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo,
Dear Political Parties,
Taking into account the approaching campaign for the early elections for the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo, representative organizations of Women’s Economic Forum invite all political subjects to demonstrate their commitment to the inclusion and gender equality in social, economic and political spheres by means of policies and concrete measures in political curriculums. Women Economic Forum calls upon political parties to engage in promoting the rights of women by:
- Addressing discrimination and absence of women in market force,
Women in Kosovo remain underrepresented and marginalized in labour market.
Only 13.3% of women of working-age are currently employed, according to an analysis of the first trimester of 2019 Labour Force Survey.
This means that Kosovo ranks among the states with the lowest rate of women’s activity in labour market in the region and in Europe as well. Research regarding this matter shows that the main challenges are: care of children and the elderly, gender-based discrimination in the workplace, fewer opportunities for women compared to men, and lack of programs designed to update the abilities accordingly to market requirements.
To address these issues, it is of crucial important to promote concrete and inclusive policies, which will encourage greater participation of women. Policies as follows:
- Offer ffordable services for child care
- Offer education and rehabilitation schemes for women who have been unemployed [out of the labor market] for a long period of time, by offering training in accordance to the labour market requirements
- Award scholarships for girls, provided by the public sector and corporations with a strategic role in developing the country
- Support the women’s entrepreneurship programs, specially self-employment schemes
- Encourage the increase of businesses owned by women, by offering administrative and financial benefits for them
- Support women’s participation in the workforce through active labour market policies, such as: wage subsidy programs, training and short-term interventions that strengthen and improve job search skills
- Paid parental leave
In addition to guaranteeing the right of fathers to play an active role in child care, equal and effective family policies are also crucial in harmonizing the disproportional employment space between women and men and the promotion of gender equality in Kosovo. Current law, as well as the proposed bill on maternity leave and parental leave, discriminate against men by failing to give them equal rights to be with their children while lowering women’s participation in the nation’s economy. According to the Law on Gender Equality, in order to achieve balance between parents in their equal role, the economic and social rights and responsibilities, then some policies should be established, the implementation of these policies would create a fundamental basis for equal role of parents.
Policies should support working parents in three ways: (i) ensuring that parents are entitled to parental leave to care for their children; (ii) providing or supporting child care; and (iii) providing financial support for childcare costs. Women’s Economic Forum advocates changing the current system by adopting a model that guaranteed maternity and paternity leave and non-transferable allocation paid paternal leave for both parents, along with overall paid and unpaid model scheme.
While you prepare your governance platforms, representative organizations of the Women’s Economic Forum remain at your disposal for advice and assistance in advancing programs that promote the rights of women in Kosovo, strengthening their position in the labour market and society in general.
Women’s Economic Forum
Women’s Economic Forum is an independent body, which is comprehensive and unifying, which gathers around itself stakeholders, organizations and individuals of society that have an interest, play an active part and are engaged in the development of women in the economy. The Forum is jointly founded by eleven organizations throughout Kosovo that are actively involved in improving the position of women in Kosovo.
Kosova Women’s Network (KWN)
Kosovar Gender Studies Centre (KGSC)