Prishtina, 21 February 2018 – A debate on The Gender Dimension of the European Integration Process in Kosovo was held today, organized by the Ministry of European Integration and GIZ Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ-Geselschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
Dhurata Hoxha, Minister of European Integration, opened the meeting, while Christian Heldt, German Ambassador to Kosovo, and Edi Gusia, Igballe Rugova and Serena Romano, experts and representatives of organizations dealing with gender issues, also took the floor for a speech.
In her speech, Hoxha emphasized that women’s empowerment and gender equality are issues that have already taken global dimensions. Developed countries have a strong advantage in this regard compared to developing countries such as Kosovo.
“Strengthening the role of women in business and entrepreneurship is a priority of Kosovo society. It is a pleasure to see more and more women in different professions every day, portraying women’s empowerment as a common goal that unites us beyond the existing social difficulties in Kosovo,” said Hoxha, emphasizing that equal access to resources or equal opportunities for participating in decision making have direct economic and social costs.
Lack of equality primarily affects women’s lives, but it also bears consequences for their children, the community and the country in general, according to Hoxha, who added that inequality hurts the foundations of society. She continued by saying that, consequently, gender equality should not be viewed solely from the aspect of human rights, but should also be treated as a loss of human potential.
Hoxha further stated that attention should be paid to the field of education, as the foundation of gender equality lies in ensuring equal education. According to her, Kosovo has the lowest employment rate in the Western Balkans and women are still not equally represented in the economic and business life of the country.
“Gender equality has been anchored as a common value of the EU Member States in the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. It is also reflected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 23 of which provides that, “Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay,” said Hoxha.
Further, Hoxha talked about the Government Program 2017-2021, according to which structural reform in education aims to improve equal participation and access to education; ensure, guarantee and enhance the quality of education; manage education institutions; ensure international integration and cooperation; promote science and research; and to ensure proper education and science finance by reviewing the funding formula.
According to Hoxha, understanding European integration as a cross-sectoral process that affects all areas of life implies treating gender as an integral part and guiding principle of the process, the Minister said. She finally stressed that the Ministry of European Integration is ready to work with all institutions to create a more appropriate climate for advancing women’s rights as part of the integration process.
On the other hand, Heldt welcomed this initiative and stressed the fact that gender equality is a vital part of the EU integration process for both men and women equally.
Last modified: August 9, 2022