Women in Gjakova Seeks their Right to Inherit Property

Time Zenuni is a 49-year-old single mother of four who tragically lost her husband during the war in Kosovo in 1999. She had to work hard to raise her three daughters and one son without their father, and without much familial support.
     She felt that her hard work and creativity could pay off, so four years ago, she started making postcards, packages, and envelopes. However, she struggled to get a loan and could not afford to register her business. 
Her land was in the name of her mother-in-law, who had long passed away, and Time had nothing to use as collateral for a bank loan. It wasn’t until she met with a Nora Shehu from Medica Kosova that the single mother learned about her property rights. Representatives from Medica Kosova informed Time that she could register the land in her name and walked her through the procedure.
     Time has filed the papers to inherit the property, and her case is in its final steps. Once she receives her title to the land, the single mother wants to expand her business. “I want to invest in my business. After my case is completed, I can apply for a loan from the bank, since I will have property to pledge as collateral.” But this is not all. Her land, located in the Dobrosh village, is blessed with fertile soil and a warm climate that is well-suited for agriculture. Time now hopes to grow walnuts, and her sisters-in-law Florie and Behigje, who have also received legal help from Medica Kosova to register their property, plan to cultivate raspberries. “I checked the open calls in September, and we will apply there for a grant to start cultivating walnuts and raspberries in Dobrosh in Gjakova,” says Time.
       Time, Florie, and Behgjie feel that they are setting an example and empowering other women in their village with their work. And they’re not the only women that received free legal support. Thus far, Kosovo Women’s Network with support of PPSE Swiss Contact has helped 150 women initiate action to register or inherit real property.