Security and Gender Group Calls for meaningful participation of women in Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue

19 Jun 2020

Security and Gender Group Calls for meaningful participation of women in Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue

We, the undersigned members of the Security and Gender Group, demand that women’s meaningful participation is ensured in the Pristina delegation, participating in the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue for normalization of relations, as well as in the working groups established to inform the Dialogue.

Since the adoption of the UNSCR 1325, the international community has been working to raise awareness about the lack of women representation in global efforts to ensure peace, by committing to and urging others for, the inclusion of women when peace is in the making. The lack of women’s representation is why the United Nations Security Council prioritized the full and equal participation of women in peace processes in Resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions.

Regrettably, these calls have not yielded significant answers by governments, as is the case with the Pristina – Belgrade dialogue on normalization of relations, which has remained to date a gender-blind process. 

The Law on Gender Equality (No. 05 / L-020) calls for the equal inclusion of women and men in decision-making positions at executive, legislative and judicial levels. Women's participation in the negotiation, peace and reconciliation processes is also among the main objectives of Kosovo Program for Gender Equality 2020-2024.

Kosovo institutions should redouble efforts to uphold their responsibility to implement the Law on Gender Equality to date, as women have been underrepresented in the senior political positions but also in negotiations and Dialogue with Belgrade, including as technical experts as well as in public consultations regarding the content of the negotiations and Dialogue. Women in Kosovo are not passive bystanders or only victims or targets. They have historically and continue to have a role as active agents in peacebuilding, policy making and recovery processes. 

Kosovo institutions have qualified women who can participate as active agents of change and lead the efforts on mediation and negotiations. With this in mind, we urge Kosovo institutions to immediately take necessary steps and ensure the meaningful participation of women in the Pristina – Belgrade dialogue. 

Moreover, we ask that this be an open and transparent process built from the bottom-up, based on consultations with diverse women and men regarding their needs and expectations from the dialogue. We remain ready to provide information regarding potential qualified persons and to support in organising public consultations, towards ensuring a democratic, transparent, and participatory process, which is crucial for lasting peace and security in the region.

Note to the press:

The Security and Gender Group (SGG) is a multi-stakeholder group, chaired by UN Women. The following signatories are members of SGG and support this public statement:

Women’s Organisations: Kosovo Women’s Network (151 organisations), Kosova – Women 4 Women, Kvinna till Kvinna, Jahjaga Foundation, Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), NGO Zensko Pravo.

International Organizations/Embassies: Embassy of Finland in Kosovo, Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo, Embassy of France in Kosovo, British Embassy in Pristina, UN Development Coordinator (UNDCO), UN Women, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNMIK- UN Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, EU Office in Kosovo/EUSR, IOM, UNDP, UN-Habitat.