Women in politics III – Gender Representation at Local Level

18 March 2021

The new Policy Article on gender representation: Women in Politics III: Gender Representation at Local Level presents data with respect to gender representation at the local level, in different sectors and regions where the targeted institutions and enterprises are located. The data presented in this report show that men hold higher positions than women in all institutions and enterprises at the local level. As such, they call for immediate action towards shifting the general mentality in the business sector, and towards ensuring implementation of the law.

Men outnumber women in all leading and administrative positions within municipal organs. All mayors in Kosovo are men and only 6 out of 38 chairpersons of Municipal Assemblies are women.

An unequal gender composition is also evident in regional and local Publicly Owned Enterprises (POEs), none of which are run by women. 9 of the POEs presented in the report have no women in their boards of directors, and 5 of them have no women in other managerial positions. Such gender gap in the POEs boards of directors calls for legal interventions in the process of the selection of the boards, in order to ensure equal gender inclusion.

In addition, men run all public universities, as well as the Labor Inspectorate and all but one of its coordinate divisions. The judiciary, the security sector and health institutions do not portray a much better picture either, with only two courts and only two directorates of the Police being run by women. Meanwhile, all prosecution offices and all regional hospitals are run by men. A slightly more balanced gender representation is present in other non-leading positions, which proves that women in Kosovo are more likely to hold lower-skilled and lower-paid positions than men.

In line with the Balkans Group Campaign “A Call for Change” the report notes that the quota of 30% in the Law on General Elections should be increased to 50% and that political parties should be more pressured to put forward more women candidates for elections and leading positions. In parallel, the report calls for other legal and administrative actions to be taken to improve conditions for an increased participation of women in public institutions.

Amending relevant laws to ensure their harmonization with the Law on Gender Equality is urgently required, while other affirmative temporary actions need to be taken as well. The advocacy for women’s representation in leading positions should continue and all relevant actors should work towards creating balanced leadership in all institutions and companies in Kosovo.

Read the full policy article here.

“This publication has been produced with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pristina and Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Balkans Policy Research Group and cannot be taken to reflect the views of the donors”.

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