Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo’s former President and the first female president in the region, launched a foundation to support women and youth.
As part of the Week of Women organized by the National Democratic Institute, NDI, former President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga launched the Jahjaga Foundation, an initiative that aims to increase involvement and representation of marginalized groups, especially women and youth.
“Change can only happen if we confront our realities and address them timely and adequately,” Jahjaga said during her speech at the launch ceremony at Hotel Emerald on Tuesday.
Jahjaga said that Kosovo had a difficult past stretching beyond the war in Kosovo, and that today’s generations bear the burden of reconstruction.
“Today we have a generation that does not remember the war, without encumbrances and prejudice against others. We will have a legacy, and what we do today will be our legacy, and that is this project,” she said.
Jahjaga said that Kosovo has similarities with other countries in transition, and according to her, the whole Balkans has serious problems with corruption, rule of law, nepotism, education and health care.
“We have gathered here today so that I do not cut short my work as president, but keep it up as a citizen… My commitment to justice would not be complete if I do not continue contributing,” Jahjaga said.
According to Jahjaga, more paths need to be cleared for women in Kosovo.
“Women continue to be underrepresented in politics and almost all other social fields in Kosovo. Still, women and girls demonstrate every day that they are the true leaders of this country,” Jahjaga said.
Ramush Haradinaj’s current cabinet has only two female ministers, while only two municipalities in Kosovo respect the law on gender equality and have hired a gender-balanced local cabinet.
General Keith W. Dayton, Director of George C. Marshall European Center for Security for Security Studies stated his support for Jahjaga’s foundation.
“Inclusiveness and gender equality are imperative for development and consolidation. President Jahjaga has a vision for encouraging activism through the bottom up approach without political affiliation. I believe that your foundation will be a flagship institution for peace, security and consolidation,” he said.
Through a video message, President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca congratulated Jahjaga’s initiative and said that having women in leadership is essential.
“The role of women [in Kosovo] to guide transformation can be a model for the Balkans and beyond, we need to work to highlight the issues to achieve equality and we must ensure that the voices of women are heard and their participation is valued,” she said.
NDI’s Week of Women, will run through March 23, with a series of talks and workshops.
20 March 2018 - 14:26
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