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Remarks by United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, at the UN Security Council briefing on the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine.
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We are deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha and other localities, and gravely concerned about mounting allegations of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls in the context of the war in Ukraine.
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The event concluded with youth perspectives on tackling sexual violence against women and the need for everyone, especially men, to take action so that women and girls are equal in all aspects of life.
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Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality. Ajna Jusić, 26 years old, is the President of the Forgotten Children of War Association, a psychologist and a feminist from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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The Be my Face exhibition, portraying stories of conflict-related sexual violence survivors, kicked off the Festival. Held in the Hotel Grand, Pristina, it was the site 20 years ago of numerous conflict-related sexual violence crimes.
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In a joint message for the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict (19 June), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Nina Suomalainen, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response, stress the importance of preventing sexual violence by addressing its root causes, including gender inequality.
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Drita Hajdari is a prosecutor for the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo, where she investigates and prosecutes war crimes. To date, no one has been successfully charged with conflict-related sexual violence in Kosovo. Today, police investigators and special prosecutors, like Ms. Hajdari, are working on an increasing number of cases, with a victim-centred approach. UN Women, through the Gender-Sensitive Transitional Justice project, funded by the European Union, has facilitated mentoring support from international criminal law experts to prosecutors and investigators in Kosovo.
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UN Women is inviting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions working in the areas of women’s empowerment, gender equality, violence against women, community engagement, conflict resolution, social inclusion, elimination of violence against women, refugee response and resilience to submit proposals to implement activities and deliver results under respective outputs mentioned in the CFP document.
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To illustrate the hopes and needs of conflict-related sexual violence survivors in Kosovo, UN Women organises a powerful exhibition of artworks by survivors.
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On 9 August, Dokufest, a major international documentary and short film festival held annually in Prizren, in the southwest of Kosovo [1] , shone a light on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) with two UN Women-supported activities. Nearly 20 years after hostilities ceased in 1999, a culture of shame and silence in Kosovo continues to stigmatize survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, who until recently had no legal recognition or rights and were unable to get reparations for the...
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Dr. Remzie Istrefi, a Professor in the Department of Law at the University of Pristina, is the coordinator of the first Transitional Justice Research Centre in Kosovo which is based in the University. The Centre was launched in May this year in Pristina by the University of Pristina, UN Women and UNDP with financial support from the European Union. The Centre aims to enhance the role of education in transitional justice processes, peace-building, human rights, and establish conditions for reconciliation. The Centre also provides a gender perspective on transitional justice processes with an in-depth focus on sexual violence during conflict.
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To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, UN Women Office in Kosovo organized the conference “Providing justice for conflict- related sexual violence survivors: Challenges and the way forward”.
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This year, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we celebrate ten years since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council’s landmark resolution 1820 (2008), which classified the use of conflict-related sexual violence as an impediment to the restoration of international peace and security.
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A UN Women and European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) supported working group meeting of experts in Kosovo looks at ways to enhance the investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence cases.
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Kadire Tahiraj is the founder and director of Center for Promotion of Women’s Rights in Drenas, central Kosovo , which has been advocating for the rights of survivors of sexual violence during the war in 1998-1999. Tahiraj’s organization was a partner of UN Women in implementing a grants scheme which provided financial and psychosocial support to survivors. The project, Gender Sensitive Transitional Justice, was implemented in partnership with Kosovo Women’s Network, and funded by the EU.
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Comprehensive efforts to recognize and compensate victims of sexual violence during the Kosovo conflict almost 20 years ago took a leap forward with the start of an application process for the survivors.
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After a UN women conference brings together stakeholders to discuss access to justice and reparations for conflict-related sexual violence survivors in Kosovo, government announces budget with funds for survivors.
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After almost two decades of silence and stigma, Kosovo women survivors of sexual violence during the armed conflict of 1998 – 1999 will soon get legal recognition and reparations, including financial assistance.
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Training organised by UN Women is an important step forward to recognising Kosovo’s survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and bringing them reparations.
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Adila Suljević, 52, is a farmer and the director of NGO “Suze” in Brčko. Her NGO provides a support network for women survivors of wartime sexual violence and offers them a chance to talk freely about their trauma. Adila expanded her agricultural business after receiving trainings from UN Women and UNDP as part of the joint programme 'Seeking Care, Support and Justice for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina,' financed by the Governments of United Kingdom, Canada and UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict.