On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, representatives of international missions in Kosovo held a public tribune today on “improving the agenda for women, peace and security in Kosovo,” reports KIM radio.
“Women are the most important part of society in Kosovo, as well as in the Western Balkans. Their voices must be heard, their role must be respected,” said UNMIK chief Zahir Tanin at the conference.
UNMIK organized this event with the intention to focus Kosovo society on strengthening women in Kosovo, their participation in peacekeeping missions, security, reports KIM radio.
Tanin stressed that women in Kosovo face many serious challenges.
“We want to see how we can support women in Kosovo and how they can actively engage in the peace process and political processes. I would like to emphasize the fact that women, as everywhere are the most important part of the society as well as they are in Kosovo as in the Western Balkans. Their voices must be heard, their role must be respected, their visible and unbeatable reality must be recognized, not only by good statements, but also by practical steps,” Tanin said.
The head of UNMIK also emphasized the importance of the EU in this process.
“The importance of the EU in Kosovo and the region must not be underestimated. The path to the EU is the path towards improvement of women’s rights and empowerment. We, as the UN, support the EU in all its democratization efforts throughout the region,” he said.
Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Nataliya Apostolova said that the limited participation of women in political negotiations in the region, including Kosovo, was a cause for concern in the UN and the EU, reports the radio.
“More specifically, on 23 January 2019, the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality adopted a resolution on the rights of women in the Western Balkans, where the need is drawn to ensure the involvement of women as experts in negotiations between states, as well as in consultation with citizens regarding their priority “. It is good news that equality in the world was expanding, although, added Apostolova, very slowly.
According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 104 years to achieve equality in the world.
Kosovo Assembly MP and President of Woman caucus Mexhide Mjaku-Topalli said that the principle of equality and non-discrimination should be extensively defended.
“I want to emphasize that the rights of men should be at the limit until the rights of women are threatened. We have a dream to one day live in a world where people will not be judged, valued according by their affiliation, but by the power of our character. We, all women and all people, will not leave this mission to be as a dream,” Mjaku-Topalli pointed out.
UNDP Coordinator Ulrika Richardson considered that we were far from a world where women are equal to men and they enjoy the same rights. She pointed out that “laws” that are gender-discriminatory should be “omitted” and that non-inclusive political rhetoric should change. She also emphasized necessity of ensuring the participation of women in decision making.
“The significance of the participation of local women in conflict as well as civil society organizations from the local level is essential for creating long-term peace and long-term agreements,” said UNDP chief in Kosovo.
This event is being celebrated all over the world today, focusing on gender inclusive political processes. This year, for the first time, the “UN Global Open Day” was organized in cooperation with the European Union, as these organizations want to further strengthen their cooperation on the topic of women, peace and security.