Leave no one behind – a slogan about all human beings having the same value, is also the one used during the 16 Days campaign globally, as well as in Kosovo during the late 2017 campaign. Gender inequalities foster significant disadvantages, especially for women and girls. The campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, is a worldwide happening to raise awareness about the worse inequality issue- the violence against women and girls and promote ending it.
Two very important activities carried out through this campaign are The Rule of Law project and the Disaster Risk Reduction project, which clarifies how bringing knowledge and awareness to especially youth, helps them realize the role they can play in ending gender inequalities.
The Rule of Law project
UNDP, together with the Agency for Free Legal Aid visited students at their universities to give a lecture on the challenges Kosovo is facing to end violence against women and girls, as well talk about the mechanisms in place to address them. UNDP’s Gender Programme Associate, Ms. Brikena Sylejmani presented an overview of key legislation, such as the law on gender, the law on inheritance, family law and all gender inclusive laws.
The project targeted about 150 law students from both the public Univerity of Peja/ Pec and Prizreni/ Prizren. The students appreciated the informational session and were active in asking questions about practical experiences, as well other issues. They also shared their wish and need to implement a subject on Gender and Domestic Violence in their law program. The importance of discussing such a topic is the significant outcome, as one of the students, Linda Berisha specified:
“Bringing awareness of this form of violence at a young age helps youth realize the role they can play in ending it. I invite everyone in our campus to join the Campaign in showing support for survivors and committing to putting an end to violence Kosovo wide”
The Disaster Risk Reduction project
UNDP, in partnership with the Government of Japan, and with support from the Agency for Emergency Management, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Istog/Istok municipality conducted the first Community Drill in the village Cerrce.
On this occasion, there was a public briefing of the 16 Days campaign with a focus on present and post disasters. The municipal Human Rights and Gender Officer, Ms. Sanije Rugova emphasized UN data about the women, boys, and girls being 14 times more likely than men to die during a disaster. These groups are also more likely to be victims of domestic and sexual violence. Unfortunately, according to same data, they also avoid using shelters because of the fear of being sexually assaulted. The activity, correlated especially with this year´s slogan leave no one behind that corresponded with the emergency response and management.
Both of the activities reflect the necessity of the events individually, at the same time fit in with the importance of the campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women.
Research Intern with UNDCO