Women Activists in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The 2018 theme for International Women’s Day is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”

On the occasion of this global celebration of women, the EU-UN Women regional programme "Implementing Norms, Changing Minds," which partners with 48 civil society organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey, has created an interactive map showcasing some of the brave women working to end discrimination and violence in the region.

The map celebrates the work and voices of the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and help them realize their full potential.

Click on each country to meet our activists!

HOW TO EXPLORE

Welcome to the Women Activists’ Interactive Map!
Please click on each country to see a list of activists and then on each individual name to read more. Once you finish, click the link “To Top” to return to the map.

MAP: ECA UN Women

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

 

 

ALBANIA

Manjola Veizi
Quote

Roma and Egyptian women face multiple forms of discrimination in Albania. Due to this discrimination, they’re not accessing legal and social services when they experience violence."

Manjola Veizi
Roma and Egyptian Women's Network
Read more:

To top

 




 

Quote

Some of the main challenges our society faces that need immediate attention are gender stereotypes and a patriarchal mentality, particularly in rural areas. This mentality is common not only among men, but also women who are more involved in the education of boys and girls."

Mirela Gjoni
Woman Forum Elbasan

To top

 



 

Drita Babametoi
Quote

Empowering women in rural areas by raising awareness of their rights, particularly property rights and the right to education, is key to an equal society without discrimination.”

Drita Babameto
Center for Development of Rural Women

To top

 





 

Edlira Haxhiymeri
Quote

I work for women’s rights because I believe the protection, education and empowerment of women is an investment for today and for the future."

Edlira Haxhiymeri
Shelter for Abused Women and Girls

To top

 





 

Aurela Anastas
Quote

It is important to provide women with information about their rights and raise awareness among Albanian society of the need to change harmful norms and stereotypes that go against international standards on gender equality and non-discrimination."

Aurela Anastas
Center for Legal Civil Initiatives
Read more:

To top

 






 

 

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVIA

Fatima Becirovic
Quote

The media should develop educational programmes to inform the public about issues of violence against women, the rights of survivors, non-violent communication and the promotion of positive values.”

Fatima Bećirović,
Gender Centre of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Read more:

To top

 



 

Tanja Mandic
Quote

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, women are not recognized in the disability movement. Society sees people with disabilities as a homogeneous group, with no differences. In addition, the women’s movement does not fully acknowledge women with disabilities"

Tanja Mandić
Sociologist
Read more:

To top

 



 

Dajana Ilić
Quote

The fact that we live in a discriminatory society – in which jobs are still divided into male and female, people continue to believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, a woman loses her job when she gets pregnant, and women are beaten – makes me fight for women’s rights more actively each day.”

Dajana Ilić
Association of Citizens ”Future”

To top

 



 

Gordana Vidovic
Quote

Women encounter many more obstacles than men when it comes to access to the labor market and participation in public and political spheres, and they often face violence within their own families."

Gordana Vidović
Association of Citizens ”Future”

To top

 








 

 

KOSOVO*

Shpresa Agushi
Quote

Preventing early marriage, gender discrimination, domestic violence and their consequences for families and children is a key priority for ending violence against Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian women."

Shpresa Agushi
Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women's Organizations of Kosovo
Read more:

To top

 


 

Valbona Salihui
Quote

We have excellent laws to protect women from violence, but the implementation of these laws still needs to improve. We must work harder to ensure women live free of violence and their rights are respected."

Valbona Salihu
Lawyers Association, ‘NORMA’
Read more:

To top

 



 

Dafina Prekazi
Quote

It is imperative that we join forces towards understanding and changing cultural and social norms that excuse and justify all kinds of discrimination and violence against women and girls."

Dafina Prekazi
Kosovar Gender Studies Center

To top

 





 

Annea Hapiu
Quote

The majority of working age women in Kosovo are not active in the labor market. This troubling issue inhibits women's access to steady income, impedes their ability to engage in effective decision making, and hinders their prospects of developing sustained self-reliance."

Annea Hapçiu
KosovaLive/GlobalGirl Media Kosova

To top

 



 

Lindita Kozmaqi Piraj
Quote

Working as a teacher, I found that women in rural areas in many fields and for many reasons are at a disadvantage compared to women living in cities and urban regions. So I decided to focus my work, my knowledge and my energy towards advancing the rights of women in one of the most remote areas of Kosovo."

Lindita Kozmaqi Piraj
Municipal Gender Equality Office Dragash Municipality

To top

 






* All references to Kosovo on this website shall be understood to be in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).


 

 

THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Antigona Alili
Quote

We need to raise awareness on violence against women because this is a social issue, not a private issue. There is still stigma in our community towards women survivors of violence who raise their voices and seek help."

Antigona Alili
Women's Forum-Tetovo
Read more:

To top

 



 

Hristina Nacheva
Quote

Young girls should take a lead role and influence the decisions that affect them."

Hristina Nacheva
Educational Humanitarian Organization – Shtip

To top

 






 

Maja Balshikjevska
Quote

I want to be a safe and free woman and to do the things that make me happy as a woman. I want equal rights for women.”

Maja Balshikjevska
Health Education and Research Association (HERA)

To top

 






 

Neda Chalovska Dimovska
Quote

We are still primarily perceived as reproductive machines, nurses, teachers, and not as politicians, MPs, mayors, professors, and managers.”

Neda Chalovska Dimovska
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia (MHC)

To top

 







 

 

MONTENEGRO

Marijana Milic
Quote

The majority of women who are victims of human trafficking in Montenegro are from the Roma and Egyptian communities; they are often trafficked for sexual exploitation. In addition, these women face multiple discrimination as they are also victims of early marriages, which is a common practice within their communities."

Marijana Milic
Montenegrin Women's Lobby
Read more:

To top

 


 

Aida Petrovic
Quote

With sister-like solidarity through the activist-feminist approach to women's rights, let’s change the environment in which we live by allowing women to become stronger, more independent and start talking and making decisions about their lives."

Aida Petrovic
Montenegrin Women`s Lobby

To top

 




 

Fana Delija
Quote

One of the main problems faced by Roma and Egyptian women in the 21st century is arranged child marriages, which denies them their right to education, endangers their health, limits their independence and puts them at risk of becoming victims of violence."

Fana Delija
Center for Roma Initiatives, Niksic

To top

 




 

Ivana Pejovic
Quote

Fighting for gender equality in Montenegro is the collective effort of women to address the problems they face on a daily basis, but we cannot solve these problems alone. Our main challenge is to make all citizens aware, both women and men, that achieving equality is a responsibility for us all."

Ivana Pejovic
SOS Telephone for women and children victims of violence- Niksic

To top

 






 

 

SERBIA

Ana Sacipovic
Quote

When Roma women who are survivors of violence try to access services, they’re not well received and are discriminated against. This is why we are lobbying to engage Roma women to work within the institutions that provide support to survivors of violence."

Ana Sacipovic
Association of Roma Women ‘Osvit’
Read more:

To top

 



 

Vera Kurtic
Quote

International Women's Day is not a day to receive flowers and presents. It is the day when we have to be on the streets to regain the freedom our grandmothers and mothers fought for and to reclaim new freedoms for ourselves."

Vera Kurtić
Women's Space

To top

 




 

Svjetlana Timotić
Quote

It is necessary to continuously work on raising awareness of the situation, needs and multiple discrimination faced by women with disabilities. For me, it is important to speak about the disadvantaged position of women with disabilities in relation to men with disabilities, but also in relation to women without disabilities."

Svjetlana Timotić
...iz kruga – Vojdvodina Novi Sad

To top

 



 

Biljana Stepanov
Quote

I decided to work in the field of women's rights because my rights were at one time threatened and I did not have anyone to ask for help. We have to be brave and persistent in fighting and advocating for our rights!"

Biljana Stepanov
Women's Support Center

To top

 






 

 

TURKEY

Ayça Bulut Bican
Quote

The women’s rights movement will continue to play a leading role in combating violence against women and girls in Turkey."

Ayça Bulut Bican
TACSO Turkey
Read more:

To top

 





 

Ayşe Pınar Gürer
Quote

Violence against women is a reflection of gender inequality. It is also strongly connected to the culture of violence within communities, which seems to be on the rise. In order to end violence against women, an overall change in people’s mindsets is required."

Ayşe Pınar Gürer
YADA Foundation
Read more:

To top

 



 

Damla Umut Uzun
Quote

Currently LGBTI people are not recognized under Turkish law. First of all, we want to be recognized. We also need laws to address hate crimes and hate speech."

Damla Umut Uzun
Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association
Read more:

To top

 




 

Ülker Şener
Quote

Assisting refugee women to exercise and enjoy their basic human and civil rights is of utmost importance. I believe that raising awareness among both the Turkish and Syrian population should be prioritized; integration requires both sides to be actively engaged."

Ülker Şener
Women’s Studies Association
Read more:

To top

 



 

Sema Kendirci Uğurman
Quote

Women are yet to attain equal representation and participation in all aspects of life, and many of the barriers to equality remain. The most pressing issues are the lack of implementation of existing laws and a lack of an effective monitoring mechanism to hold institutions to account."

Sema Kendirci Uğurman
Turkish Women’s Union
Read more:

To top

 


 

Yelda Şahin Akıllı
Quote

Working with refugee women demands more specialized human resources, more financial investment, more time and energy and lastly, but most importantly, a strong political will on the part of state authorities and NGOs working or aspiring to work in this field."

Yelda Şahin Akıllı,
Foundation for Women’s Solidarity
Read more:

To top

 



 

Nihan Damarli
Quote

I decided to work for women’s rights because I believe that freedom for women is possible only if we stand up, take action and fight against all the oppression that surrounds our lives."

Nihan Damarli
Foundation for Women’s Solidarity.

To top

 





 

Selen Doğan
Quote

To think and act as a feminist makes me feel part of a machine which will bring us freedom."

Selen Doğan
Flying Broom Women’s Communication and Research Association

To top

 






 

Zeynep Goknil Sanal
Quote

I believe that women can make the world a safer and better place to live in."

Zeynep Goknil Sanal
Turkish Women’s Union

To top

 






 

Rumeysa Çamdereli
Quote

As a religious woman working with other religious women, we try to combat the perpetuation of gender stereotypes within society. This understanding of women is directly related to all other issues that we face, from violence to economic disempowerment."

Rumeysa Çamdereli
Reçel Blog/YADA Foundation

To top

 






 

AUSTRIA

Rosa Logar
Quote

Women's organizations play a crucial role in preventing violence against women and girls. The more women's NGOs there are in a country, the greater the progress, such as better laws and more empowering support for survivors."

Rosa Logar
Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE)
Read more:

To top

 





Stephanie Futter-Oreli
Quote

Violence against women is one of the most predominant human rights abuses worldwide. My personal aim is to make a significant contribution towards ending violence and making this world a safer and more empowering place for women."

Stephanie Futter-Orel
Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE)

To top

 






 

UNITED KINGDOM

Marai Larasi
Quote

If we are to end violence against women and girls and create a truly equal world, we need to start to create seismic shifts across our social norms."

Marai Larasi
Imkaan
Read more:

To top