26 February 2019 – Balkans Policy Research Group organised a roundtable on “Women Inclusion: Inequality of gender representation in politics and decision-making”. The policy dialogue event was organised to discuss and enhance the women inclusion in politics, institutions and decision-making on the basis of the findings of the BPRG’s recent Policy article “Women in Politics – Gender (In) Equality in politics and decision-making”. The article identifies aspects that maintain the gender gap in Kosovo and provides concrete recommendations for improving gender equality in the country’s governance and political life.
Political interventions are deemed essential for improving gender representation and raising inclusion. This was confirmed from the research findings and earlier roundtables with women politicians.
The discussions focused on the short-term and medium-term actions that political parties and key branches of the government need to take to contribute to a more effective reform for gender equality and representation.
The Policy Dialogue gathered senior male and women representatives of Parliamentary Parties, representatives of the Government, the Presidency, independent institutions, the Ombudsperson, donors, representatives from the EU Office Union, the Embassies of United States and Great Britain, NDI and Women NGOs.
In his opening remarks, Naim Rashiti stressed that the actors from different institutions in the round table have key roles to play in their respective institutions and as such, “we strongly invite you to debate how to take concrete action in order to increase representation.”
The Head of the EU office in Kosovo, Ambassador Nataliya Apostolova, argued that women in decision-making are underrepresented and she emphasised that “political parties now have the chance to do something, and this has to start from the political parties themselves”.
Representatives of political parties debated about the implantation of the Law on Gender Equality, the women representation in the government, in the assembly and political parties, and their role within. The ombudsperson insisted that all branches of the government shall implement Affirmative Actions set in the law, to raise the gender representation.
At large, political parties support the introduction of a quota for gender representation in the new law on the government and the definition of the equality in the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament. Conclusions drawn from this Policy Dialogue eventwill be shared with the political parties, the government and the assembly.
The research and policy article is Democratic Society Promotion (DSP) – financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark (DANIDA) and managed by the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) and Royal Norwegian Embassy
The roundtable was part of the Policy Dialogue that the Balkans Group facilitated with the political parties and supported with the funds of Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.