Women in decision making in public institutions in Kosovo

Gender equality in public sphere remains a challenge for many countries across the world. This is because women are lagging behind men especially in holding leadership positions in both public and private sector. The degree of challenge varies across countries and as a society undergoing transition, these challenges are more critical for Kosovo society.

The report is a direct result of the conversations we had through three focus groups with 22 women who work in public institutions in decision-making positions in Kosovo. Therefore, this report represents their voices on bringing forward the challenges women face in attaining leadership position in public institutions. These challenges are mainly of cultural, political and legal nature. What we heard throughout these conversations is that while there has been some improvement in the last 10 years, in general women do not feel equal in Kosovo society. They are underrepresented in all spheres of public life and are not given a chance in leadership positions.

The first part of this report will provide information about trends in women participation between 2008 to 2018. These trends show that in general women continue to be underrepresented in public institutions, with some slight improvements over the years. Moreover, acknowledging the information that data provide to us, we move beyond numbers to identifying challenges and opportunities addressed by women working in public institutions. We also bring forward success stories of women working in leadership positions to show that women can be leaders in public institutions.

The challenges and opportunities for women in central and local governments are the same. However, this report brings forward two case studies from municipalities in Kamenica and Gllogoc as two municipalities with best gender parity in leadership positions. The report includes a discussion of key findings and recommendations provided by focus groups. However, the report doesn’t end here. The last section of this reports includes practices from two countries who are world leaders in the field of gender equality and gender parity. These case studies are brief because we focused on practices Kosovo can learn from in addressing some of the main challenges identified by our focus groups.

The last part of the report includes a discussion on what Kosovo can learn from the best practices of these countries and draw practical examples for Kosovo public institutions.