08 March 2017
Today, EULEX joins the many people around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. We take this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and, underscoring this year’s theme, we urge all to ‘Be Bold for Change’ in helping to forge a better, more gender-inclusive working world.
As a rule of law mission, EULEX’s core task is to strengthen Rule of Law institutions in Kosovo, ensuring adherence to internationally recognized standards and European best practices. The EU member states have long since made commitments to supporting UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which calls for the full and equal participation and involvement of women in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security. EULEX has already made a commitment to include human rights, as well as a gender perspective and gender-mainstreaming standards, in all of its activities, both internally and externally.
Since 2015, EULEX has developed a Gender Focal Point (GFP) network, which works as an internal mechanism to identify and address issues where gender inequalities might exist or when gender should become a necessary perspective in our internal as well as external actions. We’ve already seen results, as the operationalization of the GFP structures has most recently been praised by the European Union Institute for Security Studies as a ‘good practice.’
“Gender mainstreaming requires the attention of the leadership as well as of every staff member of the Mission. That is why we have set up a Gender Focal Points structure, as a mechanism to improve our daily work on gender mainstreaming,” says Ms. Papadopoulou.
EULEX is fully committed to also support the local counterparts in improving gender balance, which is a requirement by the Kosovo Law on Gender Equality.
Positive improvements are noticed in attitudes towards women in Kosovo and there are many initiatives targeting awareness around issues of gender equality at home and in public life, like the 30% quota for female participation in the Kosovo parliament, to highlight just one example. However, further efforts need to be made to ensure that women have equal opportunities and rights.
On this International Women’s Day, we make a commitment to ‘Be Bold for Change,’ while recognizing that women’s rights are human rights, as we strive for equal rights and opportunities for all.