Former Assembly Chairman and opposition leader under fire for sexist remarks

Jakup Krasniqi, one of the leaders of the Initiative for Kosovo NISMA, referred to the Brussels-mediated dialogue team as “female,”because it was led by a woman and was weak in comparison to the Serbian team.

Former Acting President and Chairman of the Kosovo Parliament, Jakup Krasniqi took to Facebook to criticize the government and the team representing Kosovo in the Brussels-mediated dialogue with Serbia. Criticizing the team led by Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, one of the two female ministers in Isa Mustafa’s predominantly male cabinet, Krasniqi alluded to the team’s weakness as feminine.

Discussing the dialogue with Serbia in a status on his official Facebook page, Krasniqi wrote:

“You can’t say that the dialogue was balanced or soft, because the Serbian side was leading on toughness. The Kosovo side had a compromising dialogue with the Serbian side, while the Serbian side was developing a tough dialogue. They didn’t give anything, they took everything! Why did this happen? It happened this way because the Kosovo Delegation, was a ‘female’ delegation, not only because it was led by a female, but because even when it was ‘led’ by ‘the tough one,’ no changes were noticeable either.”

The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) reacted against Krasniqi’s statement in a press release.  “ This is an absurd and offensive declaration for all of Kosovo’s women, especially women in politics and decision-making positions. Such statements reinforce  the existing social, political and economic gender discrimination in Kosovo,” the press release reads. “KWN considers it unacceptable to draw parallels between failures in negotiations and being a woman.”

The KWN called upon Krasniqi to apologize to his female colleagues.

The next day Krasniqi issued an apology addressing KWN’s statement,  aying that if his short remark was read in its entirety, it would become clear that “the point was not gender discrimination in any way, but the catastrophic result of those talks.”

“I was defending the interest of the country and the nation in their entirety, and if in that entirety KWN was offended, I apologize!” wrote Krasniqi.

Krasniqi, a former member of the Democratic Party (PDK), served as Chairman of the  Kosovo Parliament. He also served as  Acting President before President Jahjaga was elected.

He is one of the founders of the Initiative for Kosovo NISMA, one of the biggest opposition parties in Kosovo.

Krasniqi’s remark comes after a series of problematic statements by high-profile politicians in the past few months, with Kosovo’s Prime Minister Isa Mustafa comparing women activists to cattle who “graze funds.”


The original article was updated to include Krasniqi’s apology, issued a few minutes after the publication of the article.

06/04/2016 - 14:00

06 April 2016 - 14:00

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