Security and Gender Group calls for a strengthened institutional response to prevent and respond to gender-based violence
The Security and Gender Group strongly condemns the recent case of domestic violence with tragic outcomes in Gjakovë/Ðakovica municipality, including the homicide of a woman and her nine-year old daughter by her spouse in Brekoc/Brekovac village and calls for responsible institutions to step up their efforts to strengthen the response and prevention to such cases.
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights and can only be put to an end by addressing its root causes – gender inequality and discrimination against women and by enforcing the rule of law and access to justice for everyone.
Any act of violence against women and children perpetrated in the private or public sphere invokes the obligations of institutions to prevent, investigate and punish all acts of violence.
Violence against women and children has dire consequences for the victims, but it also negatively affects families, the community and society at large. Empowering women and engaging men in the fight against Gender Based Violence is crucial for the elimination of violence, the saving of lives and prevention of human suffering. All women and men, girls and boys, who do experience violence must benefit from greater access to care, support, justice and other services needed to ensure physical, mental and social well-being.
Gender-related killings tend not to be isolated incidents that arise suddenly and unexpectedly, but rather they often are the final, ultimate act in a continuum of gender-based discrimination and violence.
We recognize the considerable progress Kosovo has made with regard to the legislation to combat violence against women and children, but we need to continue our joint efforts to support full and effective implementation of the existing legislation.
The Security and Gender Group (SGG) calls for:
- Effective prevention strategies that address the root causes of gender inequality so that women and men be equally valued in the society and can exercise equal rights;
- Increased coordination between key institutions in providing an immediate response and survivor-centered services;
- Measures to ensure that the different bodies in society are held accountable, especially those that are responsible for law enforcement;
- Justice institutions to treat domestic violence cases with the highest priority and ensure a fair trial of this case, and in doing so, guarantee justice for the family of the murdered victims and for all women, girls, men and boys who have been affected by any form of domestic violence.
The SGG extends heart-felt condolences to the family and friends of the victims.
The Security and Gender Group (SGG) is a multi-stakeholder group, chaired by UN Women.
The following institutions are members of SGG and support this public statement:
International organizations: UNKT agencies including the UN Development Coordinator, UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNFPA , as well as others like UNMIK, EULEX, OSCE.
Kosovo institutions: Agency for Gender Equality
Women’s organizations: Kosovo Women’s Network, Kosovar Gender Studies Center, Kosova – Women 4 Women , Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, Jahjaga Foundation, KIPRED, INJECT.
This statement is also supported by: Youth Initiative for Human Rights, ECMI Kosovo.