SRSG Tanin joins Mayor of Zvečan/Zveçan in opening panel discussion for International Women’s Day
On 7 March 2018, the eve of International Women’s Day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, opened the event, “Role(s) of Women in Society”, a first of its kind initiative hosted by the women’s caucus in Zvečan/Zveçan municipality.
The event was organized by Municipality Assembly Council Chairperson (MAC), Ms. Biljana Jaredić, one of the five women MACs in Kosovo.
During the event, SRSG Tanin commended the Mayor of Zvečan/Zveçan Municipality, Mr. Vucina Janković, for his commitment towards equal participation of women and men in the municipality. In order to achieve greater gender parity in the number of municipal employees, Mr. Janković recently undertook measures to ensure that a high number of qualified women were among the 99 newly-recruited staff. Mr. Tanin stated that “such efforts stand as a positive example to other municipalities in Kosovo where women remain significantly underrepresented in municipal administration”.
In connection with the international theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”, SRSG Tanin also noted that good governance is not possible if it reflects the voice and needs of only 50 per cent of the population and that women’s participation in local governance is “not just a rights issue but also an effectiveness and efficiency issue”.
The initiative included a panel discussion on the situation of women in the municipality and was followed by a photo exhibit by a local photographer from Prizren which included photos on the custom of face painting technique used at weddings by young Bosniak women from the region of Zupa/Zhupe valley, Prizren.
Zvečan/Zveçan Municipal Assembly Chairperson Biljana Jaredić with Blagica Radovanović, a member of the Municipal Assembly and long-time political activist
The panel discussion was led by Zvečan/Zveçan Municipal Assembly Chairperson, Biljana Jaredić, and joined by Blagica Radovanović, a member of the Municipal Assembly, Adrijana Hodžić, Principle Executive Officer for Mitrovica North municipality, and Šehida Miftari, whose photography was featured in the exhibit.
During the discussion, the panelists shared stories about their experiences in politics, including Ms. Radovanović who started to fight for her position in society and her family since early age and ran to become a member of the Municipal Assembly when it was still male-dominated. She told participants “Now that I have a female head of the Municipal Assembly Council, I have experienced the change and success I was fighting for so long to see.” In her closing remarks to the event, Ms. Jaredić stated that “with these stories and successes, together we can overcome prejudice.”