Strengthening Women's Citizenship: Kosovo Security Sector and Decentralisation

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Following the declaration of independence in 2008, the Kosovar government has spearheaded the building of state institutions. Kosovo's institutions have a responsibility to develop in a way that makes them accountable and responsive towards the country's citizens, while also developing priority strategies and policies. In order to inform a more gender-aware and women-responsive state-building process in Kosovo, it is necessary to investigate the extent to which current processes are responsive to women and allow for their participation, now that Kosovo's institutions have become autonomous after almost a decade of UN administration.

This study on state-building and women's citizenship in Kosovo was conducted by KIPRED in partnership with FRIDE through an investigation of the impact of state-building on women and the opportunities and policy options for promoting women's citizenship in state-building processes. It is part of a multi-country research project being led by FRIDE and ODI on state-building and women's citizenship. The overall purpose of the project is to inform and promote state-building processes in fragile states that result in stronger citizenship for women. The project draws on a common conceptual framework and methodology and will generate country level evidence and cross-country analysis of women's citizenship and their relationship to the state in various fragile state contexts.

For the purpose of this study, state-building is seen as a process of developing a resilient state and involves
building state capability and legitimacy. The state-building process is primarily driven by negotiations between
the state and society regarding the expectations each has of the other. Women's citizenship is defined as a) women's possession of rights including formally having rights and being able to substantively exercise them and b) women's participation in politics through both formal and informal political processes.

The study examines how ongoing state-building processes impact men and women differently due to their distinct
positions in society. Taking this into account, the Kosovo study analyses the impact of state-building on women and the
opportunities and policy options for promoting women's citizenship in state-building processes. It focuses on two reform processes: security sector reform and the process of decentralisation. It specifi cally looks at how women's rights and participation are ensured in ongoing initiatives within these two reform processes. The report also assesses the possibility of using current initiatives to enhance the state's accountability towards women.

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