Young women from Kosovo are empowered to join politics

The Women’s Caucus held an extraordinary parliamentary session with young women, aiming to encourage and inspire them to join politics on July 5, 2019. The event was preceded by an exhibition in the city center of Pristina featuring portraits of Women’s Caucus Members with inspirational messages, as part of the celebration of the Women’s Caucus’ 14th anniversary.

Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Extraordinary parliamentary session with young women. Photo: UN Women
Extraordinary parliamentary session with young women. Photo: UN Women

Around 60 young women from different regions across Kosovo[1], who were eager to get to know decision-makers and be inspired to follow their paths, met with the members of the Women’s Caucus, as part of an extraordinary parliamentary session

Mexhide Mjaku Topalli, Chair of the Women’s Caucus, stated that “there is no democratic and equal society when there is no equal representation, no gender equality”.

The session raised awareness that women, including young women, have the right to a seat in the Parliament and should be equally involved in politics, and making decisions affecting the society.

The prevalent age and gender bias constitute serious obstacles for the active and meaningful involvement of young women in decision-making and leadership positions in all its spheres. So, young women had the opportunity to talk to Members of the Women’s Caucus about these challenges and possibilities of overcoming them to close the gender gap.

“I have been impressed and inspired to see that a woman can achieve whatever she wants despite the numerous difficulties,” declared Qendresa Luma, one of the participants in this session.

“It was an honor to be part of this event. I saw myself, a young 17-year-old girl, between Members of Parliament and activists, and I felt empowered. I felt confident, especially when I saw that the parliament was filled with so many bright colors only women can bring. The speeches by strong women leaders who were standing there intensified my wish to follow the same path. I felt like a child looking up at her favorite superheroes,” stated Amina Kaja, a participant in the session.

Vlora Nushi, Head of the UN Women Office in Kosovo underlined that “this intergenerational dialogue between established decision-makers and young women future leaders is essential to increase the equal participation of women and girls in decision-making.”

Exhibition in the city center of Pristina featuring portraits of Women’s Caucus Members. Photo: UN Women
Exhibition in the city of Pristina featuring portraits of Women's Caucus Members. Photo: UN Women

The Women’s Caucus in the Assembly of Kosovo was established in 2005 and, in the current legislature, is composed of 38 Parliament Members across party lines who share the same goal and vision of promoting gender equality and addressing women’s underrepresentation in politics and decision-making processes. The group aims to advance the legislative framework with regard to gender equality, bringing related issues to the highest-level and advocating for women’s rights in the Assembly, but also in the Members’ respective political parties. It also provides a space for women Members of Parliament to meet and discuss issues of common concern across party lines and advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

The extraordinary parliamentary session was preceded by an exhibition with portraits and inspiring messages about the Parliamentarians’ motivation to join politics. This was aimed at bringing the work of the Women’s Caucus closer to society and simultaneously inspiring young women to claim leading positions in decision-making in all aspects of life. The event allowed visitors to engage directly with Members of the Women’s Caucus, but also to write messages directed at the respective representatives containing their thoughts about issues that could be addressed by Parliament Members.

The extraordinary parliamentary session was organized as part of the joint project ‘Empowering Youth for a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Sustainable Future in Kosovo/ YouthForKosovo’, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, and implemented by UN Women, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Volunteers and the UNICEF.

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