“There is no alternative to peace”

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.

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Red light for the implementation of the EU agenda on women, peace and security

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.

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