UN joint efforts to combat and prevent domestic violence
“It’s so critically important that all of us work together to prevent domestic violence, protect the victims, and help the economic empowerment of women.”, said Mr. Vučinić, Chief of the Mayor’s Cabinet in Zubin Potok, during the event organized by UN Kosovo Team (UN Women and UNDP) on the issue of domestic violence.
Global estimates indicate that about 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced some form of violence. In Kosovo, in a patriarchal society the gender inequality is even higher, a root cause of violence against women. Violence against women is a persistent obstacle to human and economic development.
UN Women have taken measures to address the issue of domestic violence. To provide multi – stakeholder support services to women who have experienced gender based violence and domestic violence, a Coordination Mechanism for Protection against Domestic violence in three pilot municipalities – Gjilan/Gnjilane, Gjakova/Djakovica, and Dragash/š and four additional municipalities Mitrovicë/Mitrovica North, Zveçan/Zvečan, Leposaviç/Leposavić and Zubin Potok was established. The CM provide coordinated, high-quality services to survivors of DV and GBV, and have a basic organizational structure, functioning under local ownership based on MoU`s and Protocols signed by all mayors. In the framework of the EU funded Regional Programme “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds” #changingmindstoevaw, UN Women will continue to support the implementation of the Domestic Violence Municipal Action Plans in seven municipalities developed in line with the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence 2016- 2020 and harmonized with CEDAW and Istanbul Convention.
To follow up on this, a regional event on approaches to address domestic violence cases by Kosovo and Macedonia, with representatives of the key institutions and CSOs, members of the Coordination Mechanism for GBV/DV, was organized in FYR Macedonia.
The event represented an opportunity to learn from UNDP FYR Macedonia about their initiatives and experience in the field, which started in 2008 with the UN joint actions regarding the GBV/DV, and was crowned by the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in 2017.
The exchange contributed to comparing the statistics and approaches related to domestic violence as well as to identify strengths and weaknesses of the model which is used in the northern municipalities in Kosovo and its improvement by adding the examples of good practices presented by the UNDP MK.
Mrs. Timotijević, municipal employee in Leposavić/ç believes the joint events are of a great importance to municipal and other officials, as they provide a view of how to combat domestic violence and improve gender equality in their daily work. Equally important support to CSOs is needed. Ms. Kasalović, representative of an NGO in North Mitrovica said that particularly for such a sensitive topic as gender equality and domestic violence support from the UN Agencies is important.
Together, the UN Kosovo Team Joint Programme on Domestic Violence will continue supporting Kosovo in promoting South-South cooperation in combatting domestic violence. The success of the event on GBV/DV held in FYR Macedonia represents an example of how joint efforts bring about great results.