Igår var det fjärde gången jag var med på Internationella Kvinnodagen i Kosovo. Fjärde gången jag såg kvinnorörelsen här samlas och manifestera för rättvisa och kvinnors rättigheter: för ”power no more flowers”. Temat i år var mödrarnas kamp för att hitta sina saknade familjemedlemmar från kriget för femton år sedan. Man framförde krav till regeringen att göra mer för att hitta de saknade och för utökat samarbete med den serbiska regeringen. En av de jag talade med förklarade att “våra regeringar kan inte bara fortsätta att arbeta för EU-närmande och bygga infrastruktur, när vi fortfarande inte vet vad som hänt med våra söner”.
BeFem – the yearly feminist festival in Belgrade!
BeFem – where you meet the coolest crowd of Balkan feminists!
Check it out yourself at Facebook!
Text and photos: Lina Andéer/Kvinna till Kvinna
Last week, Kvinna till Kvinna organized an event together with our partner organization Mitrovica Women’s Association for Human Rights. It was a study visit and consultation meeting about women’s security situation in the Mitrovica region. The idea was to provide a space where security actors such as the EU, the UN and local institutions would meet with women’s organizations to become more aware of the challenges that they are facing.
The event was highly appreciated by the participants. Even though there were many things raised, there was one issue that was highlighted during the roundtable in the afternoon: the exclusion of women in all levels of decision making and the negative consequences for women’s rights. As one of the women put it:
– How come our resources and knowledge are not considered? We have a lot of capacities but we are never given a chance to contribute.
Last Thursday, my colleague and I visited our partner organization in Mitrovica, the Mitrovica Women’s Association for Human Rights. The association brings women together from different ethnicities to raise the voice of women for human rights.
When we came to their office, they had prepared lots of homemade food and invited us to join them in a celebration. They explained that two of the members of the association had reasons to celebrate; one because two children had been baptized in her family and another woman because her nephew had been circumcised.
- Two totally different things but we respect each other’s cultures and religions and we are happy for each other, one of them said while we were eating a mix of delicious Balkan specialties; grilled peppers, pickled vegetables and “pite” (quiche) with cheese.
While enjoying the meal, they continued talk about how much the association has meant to them, and how by building trust they have overcome their prejudices and fear about each other.
- Before I would never have crossed the bridge to go to the northern side on my own, but now I feel confident to do it. This is why this kind of projects is so important, said Fahrije, one of the staff members.
As Kvinna till Kvinna we are constantly trying to influence policies related to gender equality, women’s rights and peace and security. Moreover, we are finding it important to monitor actors, such as the European Union, to see if they are acting in line with their obligations.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend an expert workshop in Brussels to discuss EU’s role in promoting women, peace and security. The meeting was organized by the umbrella organization European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, EPLO, where Kvinna till Kvinna is a member. The purpose was to bring EU officials and civil society together to make an evaluation of the EU indicators on the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820, and to track the progress made since 2011.