Afterwards Minister Çitaku continued her speech:
At first I would like to welcome the representatives of the “National Democratic Institute” for organizing these debates in the women’s week in Kosovo.
These are necessary activities which help in the sensitizing of the opinion to its rightful role in the society. Unfortunately, we stop today and remember thousand years of development in order to make ironic all that naivety that existed in our minds all these years regarding the role of women. Only in the second part of the past century has been marked an emphasized advance of the women role in the society and its rights in terms of education, health status, labour force participation and wages. However, despite all progress still remains gender based discrimination since the inequity in rights, resources and public representation is still present in almost all countries, somewhere more and somewhere less.
Even today, the world is losing a very valuable resource for its development. Tens of thousands of talented women stand willing to use their professional preparation in the public life, but at the same time they are not represent in adequate level in the leadership positions worldwide. Various studies have shown that strengthening of the women’s role in the public institutions impacts on the raise of living standards focusing on the strengthening of the education, infrastructure and health sector. Furthermore, women empowerment in the leadership positions affects the increase of the democratic government, accountability to the citizens, increase of the cross –party cooperation and eventually reaching an inner and international peace.
To discuss the role of the women in a society should be engaged different social levels that may give an explanation on why are we in such a situation and consequently why are we still discussing on what is a deserved and natural role of a woman in a modern society. Democratic and sustainable development of a country depends on the proper development of the most fundamental level starting from family as the main cell of any society. We should stop and see on how we are organizing or family order and what’s more important the ways we are educating our children. We can spend energy and large amounts of money in the organization of public campaigns and such conferences but the result is going to be much smaller if we don’t work with our children who are our common future. Achievement of this objective is very complex and requires a genuine coordination between family, school and other institutions that deal with education of our children.
We have to take care that curriculum subjects that our children read reflect proper gender equality. What I mean here is the way we express, use of names, pronouns, division of character’s work within certain stories etc. These may seem as small details but they make the difference which will be embedded in the culture and education that will be gained by our children and ultimately a positive reflection of the role of women in general.
A very important social level that would impact the creation of a fair and equitable society is the way how political parties are organized and their functioning. The way political parties are functioning and are organized is automatically reflected into the state body as a carrier of state policies. Given this fact, we have to work hard in the improvement of the women position within political parties in order to strengthen them and only in this way we can expect a further empowerment transferred in the Assembly, Government and other public institutions.
In order to achieve certain objectives we often need certain measures to promote special category of persons. Such measures are referred to as affirmative action. In this case we can mention here the quotas that are set in order to empower women participation in the political and institutional life. We can also mention creations of certain forums that represent exclusively women for the advancement of their interests. We can see such forums in the various political parties. Even though these measures seem attractive, necessary and have a noble objective, we should take care not to see them as ultimate goals, but only as an additional tool in order to restore a natural condition where men and women are two equal parts of a species called humans.
All scientific studies, claim that women and men are equal in all intellectual aspects and that this derives from the human nature itself. Jointly we can ensure the human existence and not only as a physical existence but as intellectual and sustainable development. If this is natural, then no society can have a sustainable political development, economical, and social one if we intrude on what nature has created. The final objective should be to return our society in its natural state and to function naturally without application of additional measures such as women quotas and forums.
In order to achieve genuine gender equality we have to work jointly with men since this process requires change of the perception and role of both genders. Nothing can be achieved without participation of both genders. I personally regret to see activities, conferences and various organizations that seem to have transferred into exclusive clubs of women that are complaining and crying plight on each other. I say that we should avoid this kind of organizing such activities. In this way we are turning this process in a game “us and them” and which is very dangerous to go walk ahead, which in fact should be a joint venture.
We as women should be careful on how we perceive ourselves and to make question are we doing enough in order to advance our position in the society. Women quotas and forums cannot offer us a comfort and make us stagnate at this level. In fact, this may affect negatively in the proper advancement of women‘s role considering that in any case we will be represented in this or other way in the party or institutional level. We should work harder and believe that everything can be achieved by having faith and sustainability and break the stigmas that are rooted in thousands of years. We should jointly work to eliminate quotas and organizing certain forums that represent only one gender. This should be achieved in harmony with increasing of social awareness on the role of women in the society and where everyone regardless of the gender it belongs will be advanced according to merits and shown abilities in a fair and free competition.
Our society is advancing in this direction and has a willingness to support necessary reforms in this direction. I can give a successful example that has to do with my party where in all party structures in the central level and its branches; women have won their positions by votes, thus, exceeding even set quotas in several occasions.
This shows that PDK electorate has been considerably emancipated and we as women in this party should use this in a maximum way. I feel proud for these positive developments within my party. However, I don’t think that the final objective has been reached and we should work further and not focus only in the quantitative aspect which means in numbers but in the qualitative aspect to, so the representation of the women in the higher leadership levels. In this direction I think that we still have a way ahead.
At the end I would like to thank National Democratic Institute for organizing of this week by encouraging you to continue with such organizations with a tendency of greater commitment of both genders in the role of panellist, as organizers or any other capacity without which participation we cannot achieve expected change.
Last modified: August 16, 2022