President Jahjaga’s speech at the “Women and Business” Conference

I have the pleasure to be with you here today and share with you women entrepreneurs and for that matter with all of you, who have in different manner demonstrated your support for the economic development of Kosovo through supporting of small and medium size businesses led by women.

Honourable Ms. Maureen Shauket
Honourable women entrepreneurs of Kosovo,
Honourable participants;

I have the pleasure to be with you here today and share with you women entrepreneurs and for that matter with all of you, who have in different manner demonstrated your support for the economic development of Kosovo through supporting of small and medium size businesses led by women.

Women in Kosovo, for a very long time, have played a very important role not only in preservation and caring for the family, but also on building and consolidation of statehood, strengthening of the institutions of the country and development of democracy, through their direct participation in all processes.

During many decades, women in Kosovo have proved their dedication to positive changes in society, demonstrating that this change starts with them, in order to bring definite democratic values and to break the preconceptions about them.

Alongside the very important role of caring for children and family, women gave provided great contribution to the processes related to the future of our country.

Despite the inclusiveness of women in the most important processes of the country, from the pre war period through all the state building period, they have as yet not overcome the gender barriers and have not as yet become fully equal members of our society.

Endeavours to economically strengthen women, are endeavours to not only show the level of the democratisation of the society but above all to direct the country towards a more just and a more abundant economic development. Economic empowerment of women is the empowerment of the society in entirety, is an investment in the future and a guarantee for the prosperity of the country.

I am deeply convinced that economic empowerment of women, will bring their empowerment in politics and decision making, the very points when decisions are taken on daily basis on the fate of our children, for the future of our country and beyond.

It is time for women to prove once again that they bring change to the society, by continuously working for the education of girls today, so that tomorrow they turn into agents of change, of the economic development, and that they raise their children as equals, without any gender differences, and to create opportunities to them for a more prosperous life.

Investment in women is an investment in the vision of the country and has a direct influence in economic growth, social wellbeing and democratic development of each state.

It is up to us, women leaders, to break all the barriers in order for women to be able to provide their contribution to the economic development of the country, and not only that.

We must demonstrate our dedication and seriousness as a society, to the guaranteeing of active participation of women and girls in every field of life, considering it to be an inseparable part of the achievement of economic stability, social progress and fulfilment of the principles of democracy.

In this context I would like to praise the engagement of each women entrepreneur, to recognize the challenges they went through in order to achieve the ambition to make women an equal part of the society. Women in Kosovo today are leaders of only 6 % of businesses and only 8 % of the property is owned by them.

This trend must by all means change. Institutions of the country must do more to help the development of small and medium businesses, lead by women entrepreneurs.

Extraordinary amount of help on this issue was provided by the United States Agency for International Development, and therefore I would like to express my particular appreciation for the contribution of the USAID Director, Ms. Maureen Shauket, my good friend, in whom the institutions of Kosovo and the whole society of Kosovo have found a close associate and a trusted partner for the development of democracy and strengthening of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo.

Maureen, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for your untiring work and your commitment to supporting of every gender equality initiative, particularly the women and politics and decision making and women in business.

Through this, you have personally supported the development of democratic institutions and strengthening of the state of law. Thank you Maureen!

Honourable women entrepreneurs,

At the end, I would like to share with you a fact published few days ago by the prestigious Forbes Magazine, which states that this year women entrepreneurs make 20% of the most powerful women in the world.

They are successful because they have taken risks, because they have talent, are very creative and above all, because they have worked a lot. You are such as well.

I wish you many successes in the development and expansion of your businesses.