Inclusion Matters: Five debates in five municipalities tackle women’s representation in politics

Speeches Shim

Sunday, July 10, 2022
Week of Women gathers women from all sectors in Kosovo
NDI Kosovo for USAID

In May, for five days in five major municipalities, government, political, and civil society stakeholders engaged in policy debates with their local constituents. While the panelists and participants represented different perspectives from multiple political parties and ethnicities, they all agreed the debates had one goal: to elevate women’s perspectives and representation in decision making at the local level.  

Ten years ago, the National Democratic Institute in Kosovo launched the Week of Women (WoW).  Every year since, with support from USAID, WoW has delivered programming designed to expand the cohort of skilled local women leaders in Kosovo.  Policy debates, like the five that took place in May, give women activists the opportunity to hold their representatives to account on issues that matter to them while developing their own leadership abilities. 

One hundred and forty Week of Women alumni from the past ten years participated in May’s debates and discussed common challenges facing their communities: environmental policies in Mitrovica, women’s employment in Pristina, inclusive health-care policies in Peja, gender-based and inclusive policy making in education in Gjilan, and inclusive digital policies in Prizren.  Stakeholders from each debate came away with ideas and guidance to better advocate for women to have an equal voice in the policies that shape their lives.

Valdete Idrizi, a WoW alumni and Director in the Directorate for Culture, Youth and Sports in Mitrovica was a panelist in her municipality’s debate. “I have a deep connection to this activity as I have been part of it since the beginning…WoW has made me a better professional and now, a better director in the directorate I lead.”  Valdete was hopeful after attending the debate in Mitrovica and she believes many women and girls are poised to soon emerge in Kosovo’s political sphere. As they do, the foundation USAID’s Week of Women platform has laid will continue providing avenues and opportunities for these future leaders to become a powerful political force in Kosovo.

 

Last updated: August 08, 2022

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