The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo Ambassador Werner Almhofer called on March 8 for the enhanced participation of women in political and social life, on the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day.
“Committees in the Assembly of Kosovo are just being formed and I have encouraged the Assembly President to ensure women representation in the committees that would go beyond the mandatory 33 percent,” said Almhofer.
In an effort to increase women's representation, the OSCE has helped create municipal women's caucuses and supports the work of the Women's Caucus in the Assembly of Kosovo.
“Another important aspect in ensuring women's participation in public life is ensuring their unimpeded access to education and professional development, as well as protection against gender violence,” added Almhofer.
The OSCE implements projects in Kosovo to reduce school drop-out rates among young women. The OSCE also works with primary and secondary schools to raise awareness about domestic violence and the threat of human trafficking.
The Mission's slogan for this 8 March, “Not just flowers today, but rights every day,” points to the need to keep women's representation and the respect for the rights of women on a daily agenda of all public institutions.
“There are more women participating in public life today than there were ten or even just one year ago. This is, however, not sufficient and further support is needed,” said Almhofer.
“We all must do our best to ensure that women perspectives are taken into account when small and big decisions are being made, be it in the institutions or in the privacy of one's home and family,” he added.
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with institution building and human rights promotion. It was created in 1999 and it remains committed to gender equality.