Anything You Can Do, Women Can Do Too
“It’s not a women’s sport.”
These words never got in the way of Kosovo’s top female boxer Donjeta Sadiku. The 18-year-old from Pristina began boxing at age 11 and never looked back, in spite of the negative response from society – including her family and her friends.
“If you’re a sportswoman in Kosovo – especially if you’re a boxer – it’s not easy,” she says. Sadiku was the first boxer in Kosovo but since she began other girls are following in her footsteps.
“Now that I have reached considerable success, more girls are joining the sport.” Sadiku is just one example of Kosovo women who are breaking boundaries and gender stereotypes.
Dr Lindita Rugova, the first female dean of the University of Pristina’s Philology Department, has encountered a lot of challenges in her pathway. While she attained her PhD at age 33, she battled a breast cancer diagnosis shortly after becoming vice dean.
However, with the support of her family she recovered and went on to become dean.
“I had to complete my MA and PhD and also be a wife, a mother to my children, but also achieve in the academic field.”
Vesna Krivokapic is a domestic violence protection officer in Mitrovica. The grandmother-of-two has been working with female victims of domestic violence for many years.
She says after she learned about what domestic violence was she felt the desire to work with victims – as it is much better they have a woman to relate to when reporting to the police.
“Since victims are mainly women, it is easier to relate to another woman. Because of the support, because of the reception, because of the safety than a man, who is usually the perpetrator.”
All three women hope to see other women following on from their lead.