Nobody wants to live in a violent society.
Our current human rights issues are based on the historical context, where matters of gender are embedded in cultures which can foster attitudes that encourage violence.
Although ideas of rights and liberty have existed in different forms of human history, women’s rights, have in some way always been left behind.
This is unjust.
Women and girls make 50% of the society. Excluding them from civil society, or rather entrapping them in the private sphere belongs to the cultural legacy and patriarchal society.
UN´s action plan “Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls” is a happening worldwide. Each year from 25th November to 10th December, every country in the world organizes different activities and events to raise awareness for prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
(UN Kosovo Team are ready for the 16 Days of Activism)
It is important to be aware that violence against women (VAW) can take many forms. It ranges from physical violence to emotional and psychological violence. It can include harassment, humiliation, manipulation, devaluing women, sexist language and behaviour, abusing power relations, threats etc. This needs to be acknowledged to tackle the issue and provide support to the ones that have been affected.
Although Kosovo has made significant progress over the past decade, there is still a substantial gap between mechanisms available and the situation of women in practice. Women, especially in rural areas hesitate to report VAW cases because they are trapped in a context of honor and shame of their traditions and culture.
Kosovo has a busy schedule for the 16 days of Activism. Specifically, raising awareness all over Kosovo, with a special focus in rural places where women and girls are the most marginalized groups. The activities for 2017 include roundtable discussions, training, info sessions in schools, lectures by NGO´s, publishing articles and reports by international organizations and national institutions, media coverage and artistic performance with ballet show and exhibition to raise awareness for domestic violence.
(Information session in schools about mechanism available to support human rights)
(Living library event, where person’s tell their story’s instead of reading books)
It takes time to change the mentality. It is therefore important that we continue, and strengthening attitudes to end violence against women and girls. Only when everybody feels safe and can enjoy their rights, we have created the society we want to live in.
This blog has been written during 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women 2017 campaign by, Flutra Rexhaj, Gender Research Intern, Office of the UN Development Coordinator