President Jahjaga’s speech at the launch of the “Leadership and Growth Council” network of women professionals

It is a special pleasure to participate in promotion and support of professional women of Kosovo and of the network of professional women.

Honourable Mr. Zbogar,
Honourable Mr. Hope
Honourable participants,
Dear friends,

It is a special pleasure to participate in promotion and support of professional women of Kosovo and of the network of professional women.

We have often seen as a society the role of women portrayed through the image of the victim, of the woman in need, defeated or unfulfilled.

What we are seeing very clearly in your midst today is a serious initiative which aims the equal treatment of women in society.  An initiative which must be converted into a joint mission of ours, of all citizens of the country and every institution of ours.

Dear friends,

Women are an equal part of the society; they provide valuable contribution in its general development every single day. Its full and equal participation in every field of life, in every level of representation, is essential to the general development of a society.

Today we are seeing in practice the exact thing you have heard me say and repeat quite often, that investment in women is not just an investment in an individual, it is an investment in a family, society and it is an investment in the future of a state.

You are demonstrating that there are no limits to what women can achieve and the positions which they can lead and direct from. You are silencing the voices which say that there are no successful women, women cannot make it, by demonstrating by successful personal example that women’s place in society is equal.

You are the women who have broken down the barriers and have challenged the prejudice, and your strength goes beyond this. Your strength is the message you convey to many other women and girls all around the country and beyond, in order for them to ask for their rights, to follow their dreams and see beyond their challenges.

Successful examples as yours make us evaluate the positive steps undertaken for empowerment of the role of women in society, and at the same time they make us more conscientious of the fact that there is still a long road ahead to the achievement of equal representation of women, for them to take the deserved place within the society and institutions, both on local and central level.

Our country is one of the countries in which women’s unemployment reaches the highest levels in the region, in which the illiteracy among girls is still high, and you are aware that according to the latest statistics Kosovo has troublesome data in relation to the education of girls, and where representation of women in decision making tables is decision making tables is still unsatisfactory. It falls upon our shoulders to support each other, to empower the participation of women in decision making in both local and central levels.

These last years, we have achieved satisfactory progress, but this must not be sufficient, one woman President, one woman Minister or one female Mayor is not sufficient. This is a clear message to us that we still need to work to achieve proper representation.

We still have much to do as institutions and as a society, in fulfilment of our obligations and responsibilities we have in offering of equal opportunities, equal rights and equal treatment, to women and girls, as foreseen by the laws and the Constitution of the country. So, it is easy enough, we have the Constitution, we have the laws, and all that we need is a little more dedication and little more pressure from you, in order for the Constitution and the laws to be applied. We have the, all we need is for them to apply in our daily lives.

I had the pleasure to closely follow the success of the Hope Fellowship programme, which has promoted the values of women of Kosovo, in every field of life, and at the same time has conveyed the strong message beyond the borders of Kosovo stating that women of Kosovo are successful and that they play an important role in development of the society and consolidation of our state.

I wish the Leadership and Growth Council many more successful years, as it is the foundation of its commencement and reiterate my unreserved support to the Network of Professional Women in advancement of their mission which you have already started, that of empowerment of the role of women and their voices in the whole society of ours.

I would especially like to thank the EU and USAID for strong support, for their backing of the Hope Fellowship programme, through the support of many of their funds have for many years, in different capacities, helped us obtain the right candidates who will make the change in our society.

I always say that a smart society is the society which invests in its citizens, regardless. So, invest in man a woman equally, as our society consists of 50 % men and 50% women and we must also have the same investment.

With your strength, your will, your devotion and your vision, dear friends, you are providing your contribution for establishment of a society of young generations in which we shall no longer be talking about gender equality, but we must speak about proper values of irrespective of the fact whether they are men or women, and I always refer to a saying of a dear friend of mine and great friend of Kosovo, Secretary Clinton, because: “each state and each society is equal only when we have equal treatment of the 50 % of the society”. So, of the 50% of the capacity and potential of every country in the world, not just Kosovo.

I would like to conclude with another saying of another great friend of Kosovo, Secretary Albright, who said that the “the worst enemy of every woman is woman itself”. And she continues to say that there is a place reserved in hell for all those women who do not support other women. And I say that initially, as professionals, you must support women, as through support, women support their daughters at home and the rest of the girls in society.

I wish the project good luck and an many more joint successes.
Thank you.