Mitrovica, 15 January 2020
Balkans Group organised the fifth roundtable from the series of consultations as part of the project “Fostering the Women Caucus' role through regional outreach & establishing their relationship with the media”.
The roundtable offered women municipal Assembly members a unique opportunity to engage in constructive discussion with elected women MPs on the challenges of gender equal policy-making at the local level.
Fjolla Ujkani - the newly elected MP from LVV- highlighted the importance of further strengthening women political engagement outside the thirty (30) percent quota in the framework of the Law on General Elections in the Republic of Kosovo. Ms. Ujkani stressed that municipal Assembly members have to be more proactive in seeking out the creation of informal women caucus’ at the local level in order to more effectively address the gender-gap in policy-making.
Blerta Deliu-Kodra long-serving MP from PDK and the chairwoman of the Woman Caucus from a previous legislature- shared her experience on the most prominent challenges faced by women at the local and central level in their political engagement. While Mrs. Deliu-Kodra noted a positive shift in the increase of women MPs in the chairmanship of parliamentary committees, she argued that equal representation on the boards of independent agencies remains uneven.
Similar to the discussions in previous regional consultations, women municipal Assembly members reiterated the lack of a sustainable communication between them and their counterparts at the central level. Both them and the MPs present agreed that the culture within political parties in Kosovo does not favour the increased number of women at executive positions. Participants agreed and highlighted that, in order for women at the local and central level to address the gaps of intra-party democracy, it required a more sustainable consensus among them outside of their party affiliations.
The project aims to further strengthen the Women Caucus’ impact and expand its reach throughout Kosovo by also liaising with the women representatives at municipal levels. The project will help women MPs and women municipal assembly members work more closely with media and help initiate public dialogue at the local and central level, forging a sustainable relationship between the caucus and the media through continuous activities. Other project activities supporting the Women Caucus include: an intensive training on the use of social networks for women MP’s, meetings with media representatives, and a concluding conference.
The project “Fostering the Women Caucus’ role through regional outreach and establishing relationship with the media” is funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) – an initiative of the Government of Canada”.