Empowering Minority Communities in Kosovo against Gender-Based Violence

Empowering Minority Communities in Kosovo against Gender-Based Violence

Women belonging to minority groups in Kosovo – particularly Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian and Serb minorities – face a de facto double discrimination, as women and as members of minorities and are vulnerable to GBV. Among the most striking problems are domestic violence and early and forced marriages. Domestic violence in Kosovo has remained at high rates since the 1999 conflict. While this form of GBV affects all women in Kosovo, minority communities are affected in particular due to their already marginalized and vulnerable position in society. In addition, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian and Serb women lack effective integration into education, social, economic, institutional and political life. What’s more, members of targeted communities face lack of awareness on women’s rights, gender equality and mechanisms against GBV.

Project Summary:

This project seeks to provide legal and economic empowerment of Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian and Serb women from the municipalities of Ferizaj / Uroševac, Fushë Kosovë / Kosovo Polje, Gračanica/Graçanicë and Mitrovicë/Mitrovica North in addressing their limited access to adequate gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and treatment services and extreme socioeconomic vulnerability. In addition, it aims to raise awareness among members of both genders of these communities on women’s rights, gender equality and mechanisms against GBV.

First, the project will train, engage and support eight (8) local minority female activists as community-based paralegals who will assist the beneficiaries to have an improved information on and access to prevention and treatment services. Second, the project will make available in each of the four targeted locations skills training and professional coaching in accessing external grant and loan schemes. Thirdly, the project foresees the organization of continuous awareness raising activities aimed at teachers, students and male leaders, including the organization of discussion workshops with minority men, and the development and implementation of a school-based teaching program on women’s rights.

Aim and Objectives:

This project aims to address three problems in particular, which are key contributing factors to the vulnerability of minority women in Kosovo to GBV:

1. Limited access of survivors of GBV to adequate prevention and treatment services;

2. Extreme socioeconomic vulnerability of minority women;

3. A lack of awareness among both genders on women’s rights, gender equality and mechanisms against GBV.

Therefore, the objective of this project is to ensure that the minority women in the targeted municipalities will have a reduced vulnerability to domestic violence as well as early and forced marriages, through better access to GBV prevention and treatment services, increased socio-economic opportunities, as well as less discriminatory attitudes in their communities.

Expected Results and Activities:

Activities:

  • First, the project will train, engage and support eight (8) local minority female activists as community-based paralegals to offer continuous support to the targeted beneficiaries in accessing adequate prevention and treatment services.
  • Second, the project will make available in each of the four targeted locations skills training and professional coaching, with the aim of contributing to their economic empowerment;
  • Thirdly, the project foresees the organization of continuous awareness raising activities aimed at teachers, students and male leaders, including the organization of discussion workshops with minority men, and the development and implementation of a school-based teaching program on women’s rights.

Expected results:

1.1. Eight (8) local female minority activists have the skills and knowledge to act as paralegals on GBV issues; 1.2. Beneficiaries benefit directly from improved information on and access to prevention and treatment services (through assistance provided by paralegals); 1.3. Trust relationships are established between paralegals and minority women in the targeted communities.

2.1 Participants in the training courses have improved professional and income generating skills; 2.2 Training participants have improved access to external grant and loan schemes.

3.1. Teachers who have participated in the teacher training program posses the attitudes, knowledge and teaching materials to teach high school students on gender equality; 3.2. Male and female students who have participated in the training program have improved knowledge on and attitudes towards women’s rights and gender equality; 3.3. Male leaders reached through discussion workshops have improved knowledge on and attitudes towards women’s rights and GBV.

Implementation Period:

Starting date: 01 January 2014

End date: 01 January 2016

Location:

  • Ferizaj / Uroševac
  • Gračanica/Graçanicë
  • Fushë Kosovë / Kosovo Polje
  • Mitrovicë/Mitrovica North
  • Zvečan / Zveçan
  • Zubin Potok
  • Leposavić/Leposaviq

Direct beneficiaries of the project:

  • Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian and Serb women
  • Minority female activists
  • Students, teachers and male leaders of the targeted communities
  • Local institutions and othe relevant stakeholders

The area the project seeks to address:

Legal empowerment, economic development, gender equality; gender-based violence; discrimination

Funding:
This project is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

                                                                                            


Project Evaluation:
 
Please click here for the Project Evaluation 
 
Partners:

CLARD – an NGO with extensive experience in providing legal support, including court representation to marginalised groups in Kosovo, including on issues of GBV (domestic violence, rape, child custody, divorce).

Activ – One of the strongest NGOs operating in northern Kosovo, with excellent relations to the community and currently engaged in conducting a comprehensive survey on domestic violence issues in northern Kosovo.

NRAEWOK – The only association of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian female activists and NGOs.

Contact Person

Name: Jeta B. Bakija

Position: Project Manager

E-mail:bakija@ecmikosovo.org

Tel: + 377 (0) 44 334 582

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