Atifete Jahjaga

Support of women’s property rights in Kosovo - Dec. 10, 2015

Atifete Jahjaga
December 10, 2015
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Speech at the launch of the national campaign for the support of women’s property rights in Kosovo.

Honourable representatives of the institutions of Kosovo
Honourable Mr. Kuçi,
Honourable Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honourable Mr. Delawie,
Honourable Mr. Hope,
Honourable participants,

I am glad that we have gathered here today to mark December 10th, international day of human rights, by launching a national campaign of a special importance, which is dedicated to one of the basic human principles, that of the right to property.

This universal right, also incarnated in the laws and the Constitution of our country, is guaranteed to all citizens regardless. But in practice, it is often implemented as a privilege reserved for men, which in an unjust manner denies the enjoyment of this right to women.

Human rights are not a special privilege of a particular group of the society, and unfortunately they rarely are realized as such. And whenever it happens, it turns this into a civic and institutional obligation, the undertaking of necessary measures for the protection and full realization of equal rights for all citizens regardless.

Today we are recognizing one of the difficulties faced by women, one of realization of their property rights. At the same time we are also reflecting the readiness to undertake steps towards changing of this reality, determined to, as institutions, and seeking the support of all citizens, to address the challenges and to recognize the importance of the guaranteeing of this right.

One year ago, we commenced with the “For our own good” campaign, with many partners from all layers of the society, with the support of the German GIZ, focusing on an important aspect of the realization of the right to property, the one of registration of the property in the name of both spouses, as foreseen by law.

Today, with the incessant support of the USAID, we are taking a step further, by asking for full realization of the full property rights of women, asking for their right to inherit, their right for access to economic and financial resources, and their right for equal opportunities.

We are dedicated to the protection of these rights, as women are half of the society and their economic potential can be converted into the catalyzer of an all-encompassing wellbeing of the society and sustainable economic growth.

I would like to thank USAID and the American people for their continuous support for the strengthening of our state, especially for their support for the protection of equal rights of women which guarantees an advanced society and a strong state.

Dear friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This day also marks the crowning of the 16 days of global activism against the gender based violence. We are often witnesses of a negative binom of violence exercised upon women and girls and their economic status.

The denied rights to property also deny them the right to financial and economic independence, thus not allowing women to end abusive relationships, which as we have seen, can lead to denial of their right to life.
The right to property is an undeniable right, but we are faced every single day with multitude of histories of women as that of Shyhrete Berisha, whose right is denied at the time when she is also carrying the great pain of the loss of her family.

It is histories like this one and similar ones, which we must address, which we must change, to turn them into histories unacceptable for us, which do not belong in our society.

It is true that social discourse is still lagging in reflecting the economic, social and political empowerment of women, which will then impact the whole society.

We are aware that we still have a lot to do, to sense the positive and multiple effects of the economic empowerment of women, which not only brings individual wellbeing to women, but also to the whole family and society, and the importance which access to property plays in this aspect.

But it is very clear that guaranteeing of the right to property is also the respecting of the economic, social and cultural right of all our citizens, guaranteeing of which contributes to rule of law, economic development of the country and general wellbeing of the society.

For this reason, initiatives like the one today, must find wide support from all of us.
I would also like to also congratulate the initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Justice, with the support of the USAID, to compile the national strategy on property rights, by attaching special focus on the property rights of women and the addressing of the problems which women face in realization of this right, from which I expect that it will reflect concrete measures in more efficient guaranteeing of women’s rights to property.

Dear friends,
A right denied to women, is a right which is denied to the whole society. I call upon all of you to work together, for our own good, for the good of the future generations, for a society which respects and protects the rights of all its citizens regardless.

Thank you.

Jahjaga, Atifete. 2015. "Speech of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, at the launch of the national campaign for the support of women’s property rights in Kosovo." President of the Republic of Kosovo.,8,4165#.WK9iRPJ5UUc.