In the words of Ramiye Şalja: “Together we are much better and more powerful.”
Ramiye Şalja is a woman from the rural municipality of Mamusha who is renowned for spearheading initiatives to support rural women from her community. Seen as a role model and a change-maker, she has received UN Women-supported trainings which will further her efforts.
I am Ramiye, a wife, mother and experienced farmer. Farming has always played a big role in my life. Coming from a rural area, farming is the main activity of every household. From an early age, I have been working in the fields, and was the right hand of my father, always helping him harvest and reap the products of our fields.
The situation did not change much after I got married. I joined forces with my husband, and since then I have been the one in charge of our greenhouses, products and livelihoods. I was lucky enough not to face gender discrimination throughout my life. I believe that everywhere women and men should be allies, but especially in rural areas, as this would benefit the family and the whole community.
In our fields we produce tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, watermelon, cucumbers, spinach and more. We also have 11 cows in the barn, which produce 200 litres of milk, so we also manage to sell dairy products. I am proud to say that even though we come from an isolated area, we distribute our products to markets in three municipalities across Kosovo.
As a woman, I try hard to be a good example to my daughters and all women in my community. As such, I have engaged women from our community as field workers. I prefer working with women, encouraging them to empower themselves and to take the initiative to change their lives. By creating a safe space for them, I get inspired every day. We work together, have fun, have long discussions and share our concerns. We act as a support group for each other. My co-workers inspire me with their motivation and desire to improve their lives.
Recently, together we joined the economic empowerment courses organized by UN Women in Kosovo with their partners. We learned a lot, socialized with women from the Municipality of Prizren and recognized our enormous power for change. I really hope that even though we come from a rural and isolated community, we will be seen and heard, and receive further support. These trainings brought us together as women of Mamusha and helped us realize that.”
 All references to Kosovo should be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).