Surrounded by Friends, KWN Holds 19th Members Annual Meeting

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On December 11, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) held its 19th Annual Membership Meeting.

174 attendees representing KWN member organizations, partners, friends, colleagues and supporters of the work and activism for many years gathered to discuss the activism of gender equality in Kosova.

Ariana Qosaj Mustafa, KWN Chair of the Board opened the 19th Annual Membership Meeting recognizing KWN’s work within the years.

“The successes of KWN over the years have been great. By involving women in socio-economic developments, we contribute to the development of the whole Kosova. I thank the KWN Director, and all the organizations for their continued work. The network stays very strong with you!” she said.

Similar appreciation for KWN’s activism and work was given by Christoph Weidinger Ambassador of the Embassy of Austria in Kosovo.

“KWN has been a partner of Austrian Development Agency for ten years now and let me thank KWN for the excellent cooperation. Because a peaceful and developed world cannot exclude women!” said ambassador Weidinger

The ambassador of Sweden in Kosova, Karin Hernmarck said that they appreciate and honor the work of KWN and its members’ organizations.

“I am privileged to witness the progress made during these years, and the change in Kosova, and your contribution to this cannot be underestimated. KWN is such a great example of what a grassroot feminist organisation can do, and I’m proud I’ve been part of this journey” she added.

Whereas, Ulrika Richardson, United Nations Development Coordinator highlighted the importance of women’s movements around the world.

“Women’s movements and your mission are more important than ever before, because the pandemic has reverted some gains we had. I respect the work that you all do.” Ulrika Richardson, United Nations Development Coordinator.

KWN’s strategic aims could serve as a good example for many governments in the world said Jarmo Feliks Helppikangas, Head of Rule of Law Section at the EUSR office.

“Your work on legislation, has helped us a lot as well, since we always know where to look at and who to ask. Your work talks on your behalf!” said Helppikangas.

For the fourth time the annual “Sevdije Ahmeti” Prize was given in honor and memory of feminist activist and humanist Sevdije Ahmeti (1944-2016). 

This year, it was given to Shukrije Gashi, Executive Director of Partners Kosova, lawyer, former journalist, human rights expert especially on women’s rights, transitional justice expert, international trainer and consultant, and a poet.

The prize honoring women who have left their mark on the advancement of women’s position in Kosovo, was handed by Sevdije Ahmeti’s sister, Hikmete Xharra.

On this occasion, Mrs. Gashi shared her excitement and appreciation.

“Apart from being a great honor, I also feel very emotional, because Sevdije Ahmeti was the woman who made the change in Kosova. I have learned the work of gender equality from Sevdije. Thank you to Igo and all of KWN.”

Knowing that KWN considers the Annual Meeting as an excellent opportunity to share information and increase solidarity between women, KWN’s staff reported on the work done during 2021, focusing on the 6 programs of the 2019-2022 Strategy.

KWN Members unanimously approved the Annual Report 2021, further in the second part of the meeting, members of KWN voted Shqipe Malushi, Vjosa Dobruna and Ferdie Rushiti as KWN Board Members, replacing Ariana Qosaj – Mustafa, Magbule Hyseni and Vlora Hoti.

In her closing speech, Igballe Rogova, Executive Director of KWN shared her gratitude with all the attendees.

“It is a pleasure to see you all today. I thank the representatives of foreign offices in Kosovo, for the continuous support of the Kosovo Women’s Network, and our member organizations for their work. We made it together at this point where we are today!” said Rogova.

The KWN 19th Annual Meeting was financed by Austrian Development Agency and co-financed by Sida – Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete, Kvinna till Kvinna, and Sigrid Rausing Trust.

Throughout the year, KWN’s efforts for gender equality have been supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as well as the European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo.