Prishtina, 11 December 2018 – Institute Democracy for Development held the annual award ceremony, within the project “Parental leave for Gender Equality”, financed by Olof Palme International Center and supported by Swedish Government.
The Swedish Ambassador in Kosovo, Karin Hernmarck Ahliny in her opening remarks highlighted the importance of providing parental leave as an opportunity, among others, for men as well. She also said that this system paves the way for a society that allows everyone to fulfil his/her full potential, which is a human right.
While Edi Gusia, Executive Chief, Agency for Gender Equality (AGE), stressed that AGE is not pleased with the current proposal on maternal leave and parental leave, therefore, she added that D4D recommendations in this regard are welcome. Furthermore, she highlighted that researches are showing that men in Kosovo are ready for parenting and it is the last momentum to change the approach and provide practical models that enable engagement of the other half of the population.
Shpend Emini, Executive Director, D4D, said that “our state should provide equal opportunities in the labor market for both men and women”. He added that the current proposal in the Draft Law on Maternity Leave and Parental Leave is discriminatory not only by the lack of men’s encouragement to participate in the lives of children, but as such brings economic consequences by discouraging women from seeking employment.
The today’s event should also serve as a call for revision of the model proposed by the government and to provide a model based on the demands of the population, namely the parents. In order to ensure a more balanced share of leave between the two parents and the provision of paid parental leave to encourage an active participation of fathers in the lives of children.
During this event, awards were given “Journalism Gender Equality Award”, intended to journalists who have covered the issue of gender equality in the labor market, particularly through emphasizing the importance of policies such as parental leave in Kosovo.
The award for the best written story for this year was awarded to Dafina Halili with the series of writings “The difficulties of being an employed mother in Kosovo” and “The maternity leave provisions are excluding Kosovo’s fathers”. The award for best audio story this year was awarded to Bajram Lani with the story “Parental leave – responsibility for men, opportunities for women”, while the award for the best video story this year was awarded to Nerënxa Jakupi with the story “Men are denied the right to participate in the birth process”.
The award for the best organization of the year, which policies allow balance between life and work by promoting a father’s paternity leave for one month, was awarded to the YMCA in Kosovo. Similarly, prizes for the fathers of the year have been awarded, which have taken paternity leave and are engaged actively in child care, thus enabling a more equal distribution of duties within the family. Veton Kastrati, Enes Toska and Ekrem Lutfiu were three of the fathers of the year chosen among 50 nominated fathers, who are an example of equal sharing of responsibilities with their partners.