Regional open forum "Employment Status of Girls and Women in Albania and Kosovo"

On 14-15th of October2020, Gender Alliance for Development Center (GADC) and "Democracy for Development" (D4D) held a 2-day Regional Open Forum "Employment Status of Women and Girls in Albania and Kosovo, with the best practices from the region ". This forum was organized in the framework of the regional project "Enhancing women's access to employment" which is supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Pristina.

Economic empowerment of women through relevant educational programmes continued training, employment and entrepreneurship have been strongly stressed in the Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8. Similarly, gender equality, and employment have been clearly stated in the EU Gender Action Plan, as well as in Goal 13: Equal Access for girls and women at all levels of quality education and vocational education and training without discrimination and Goal 14: Access to decent work for women of all ages; and Goal 15: Equal access for women to financial services and sources of production, including land, trade, and entrepreneurship. Based on these international and national policies in Albania and Kosovo, this regional forum is organised, aimed at sharing information about the status of women in the labour market and recommendations for improving national and regional policies and action.

During these two days, the possibility of exchanging information and recommendations regarding employment policies in Albania, Kosovo and the region, as well as the initiation of advocacy strategies and actions at the regional level, which contribute to increasing the employment of women were discussed. A special focus was also paid to the employment situation of women in both countries during the pandemic caused by Covid-19.

This forum was attended by representatives of key institutions from Kosovo and Albania, civil society organizations in the region and Albania as well as individuals operating for employment rights. The forum was greeted by Mrs. Dajna Sorensen, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Government of Albania; Mrs. Burbuqe Bakija - Deva, Deputy Minister of Economy and Environment, Government of Kosovo; Mrs. Jenny Stenberg Sørvold, Deputy Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Pristina.

The main topics discussed by the speakers and discussed with the participants were related to:


In line with the international standards, the right to employment is embodied in provisions of the Constitution of Albania and the Constitution of Kosovo.  According to the constitutions, the relevant states should provide every person the right to work, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, language, political affiliation, or religion. Therefore, the right to work includes the right to choose a profession, a workplace, as well as a professional qualification system aimed at gaining a living tool by legitimate work. This panel will discuss how this constitutional right is implemented in Albania and Kosovo, how is the rate of employment and unemployment among women and girls in both countries. To talk about this were: Ms. Elsa Dhuli, INSTAT Acting Director, Mr. Avni Kastrati, Director of the Department for Social Statistics, Kosovo Statistics Agency, Ms. Juliana Hoxha, Partners Albania, Ms. Valëza Zogjani, Institute of Democracy for Development.


Gender-based discrimination can affect both women and men. However, women are more likely to fall prey to this phenomenon.  Reduction of unemployment and increase of participation in the labour force is a priority of the European Union, representatives of governments and actors of civil society. Some research suggests that discrimination has unequally influenced participation of women in the labour market. Similarly, it seems that although both countries have a complete legislation in terms of discrimination, many important actors still have limited knowledge. To talk about this were: Ms. Edona Hajrullahu, Deputy Ombudsperson, Kosovo, Mr. Robert Gajda, Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Albania, Mrs. Reyes Charles, Representation of the European Union in Kosovo, Mrs. Arta Mandro, Expert and Lecturer at the School of Magistrates; Mrs. Mersiha Jaskic, Center for the Promotion of Civil Society (CSP), Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms. Ines Leskaj from AWEN. 


Vocational education and training is provided in Albania and Kosovo, but almost all the institutions offering it are located in urban areas. Research in both countries shows that vocational education is not yet considered by many students. Vocational schools usually register students with very low average grades, or those who fail to pass their first year in high school. Women and girls find it difficult to participate in vocational education. To talk about this were: Mr. Drin Haraçia, General Director, Employment Agency, Kosovo, Ms. Iris Luarasi, Women Victims of Violence and Vocational Education, Ms. Ilirjana Jaka – Gashi, Kosova – Women for Women, (KW4W), Ms. Shpresa Agushi - RROGRAEK Kosova.


OKMOkin targets and indicators that are important to migration and mobility. Women are important actors both in the global, and regional and domestic migration. The effects of migration and migratory processes are different for women and men; therefore, it is essential that policies on migration include and reflect these specifics. To talk about this were: Ms. Ermira Danaj, Albania, Ms. Ardiana Gashi, Kosovo, Ms. Elisabeta Bajrami Ollogu, Kosovo

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