Self-initiative, demand and insist to push forward their ideas and demands, on one side and readiness and the creation of necessary conditions and opportunities for institutional and service access on the other side, are two actions that need to be strengthened for the sole aim to advance the improvement of governance and the participation of youth and women in public life.
This conclusion came up from the guests during the discussion on the topic “Inclusion of Women and Youth for a good local governance”, which was organized by Democracy for Development institute (D4D) in the Municipality of Mitrovica.
The purpose of this activity was the discussion of Mitrovica’s Municipality policies on increasing the participation of citizens, with focus youth and women, in all decision- and policy- making processes, as well as the strengthening of cooperation between the citizens and their representatives in the local governance institutions.
Vice-mayor of the Municipality of Mitrovica, Mr. Faruk Mujka emphasized that the municipal institutions are working on improving the participation of women and youth in public institutions, not only in quantity aspect, but also in the quality aspect. Mr. Mujka said that currently the municipal executive includes only two (2) women directors, while also emphasized that from the total of 35 councilors in the Municipal Assembly, there are 13 women councilors, and in all municipal administration there are 128 women employed.
Albeit these numbers, Mr. Mujka said that he isn’t pleased with the participation of youth and women in the public lie of the Municipality of Mitrovica and asked from these two stakeholders to make more noise towards realizing their demands.
“Freedom doesn’t come itself. Justice doesn’t come itself. They need to be earned and demanded. What we as institutions should do is to create the conditions and opportunities for them to be part of social processes and public institutions, because youth and women contribution in all time periods is to be valued”, said vice-mayor Mr. Mujka.
Ms. Afërdita Sylaj Shehu, executive director at Community Building Mitrovica (CBM), expressed her concern in the lack of proper engagement from these two social categories, although according to her the inclusion of women and youth in the governance of Mitrovica, from none of the municipal government, since the end of the war was never good enough.
“Concern for us is also the lack of engagement of women that are in the Municipal Assembly about various issues that touch the field of women rights. Men and our politicians have to be brave and give women and youth more space in various fields of social life”, she said.
Whereas, Mr. Liridon Kurti, representative from the Local Council for Youth Action in Mitrovica (KVRL) emphasized that the legal aspect of youth participation is pretty well regulated in Kosovo, but according to him because of the fault of youth itself, the Municipality but also the central institutions, the implementation of this legislation is slacking and there isn’t any proper monitoring of its implementation.
“The lack of willingness among youth is a very bad factor in the aspect of youth engagement in municipal governance”, said he, adding that the youth engagement can also be noticed in the political aspect. According to him, many political parties have had youth in their electoral lists, which has very successful in earning the citizens trust.
Aside from the panelists, part of the discussion were also other participants, some of which emphasized that the organization of such discussions, with transparency and self-criticism, where the communication finds a proper spot, are very good and motivational for the engagement of youth and women in public life.