Press Release – The Law on Gender Equality shall be adhered to in terms of equal representation of 50% during the 6 October 2019 parliamentary elections

September 04, 2019

The Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) of the Republic of Kosovo reminds political entities, competing in the electoral campaign for the October 2019 parliamentary elections, to adhere to and enforce the Law on Gender Equality in Kosovo, namely Article 6, paragraph (8) on equal gender representation in all legislative bodies with 50% (per cent) representation for each gender.

The Agency also reminds political entities that equal gender representation in the country’s political and legislative decision-making is a direct reflection and implementation and embodiment of the Kosovo Constitution according to which: “The Republic of Kosovo ensures gender equality as a fundamental value for the democratic development of the society, providing equal opportunities for both female and male participation in the political, economic, social, cultural and other areas of societal life.”

Gender equality, reflected through equal participation of 50% for each gender, is a fundamental value in building a democratic society. The principle of 50% should constitute the electoral lists for equal representation while respecting the affirmative measure, political party programmes with concrete proposals for participation, equal and qualitative representation and development between genders, socio-economic empowerment of women, and promotion of participation in voting for women and men in Kosovo. In order to achieve genuine gender equality and to enjoy full human rights, change must be concrete, rapid, decisive, visible and inclusive, so we must all contribute to mark the progress required by Kosovo’s legal framework and the European future we are aiming for.

The principle of equal representation of 50% for each gender should also be reflected in the election supervisory bodies - Municipal Election Commissions and Polling Station Councils.

          Moreover, political entities should be fully engaged in providing financial support for the campaign of women candidates equally to men candidates, in compliance with the Law on Gender Equality, Law on Financing Political Parties and Law on Elections in the Republic of Kosovo.

The Agency for Gender Equality reminds political entities to avoid the sexist and violent language as well as gender stereotypes during the electoral campaign in the language used in meetings with the electorate, electoral programs and promises, promotional materials of political entities.

The Agency for Gender Equality calls on the media to provide equal space for women candidates to reveal their program. Representation in media is of special importance in the electoral campaign, and it must be accessible and transparent to all candidates regardless of gender.

Building a society with democratic values that works for social harmony through promotion of values and principles of gender equality contributes to peace and can be achieved only through consensus, dialogue, respect for diversity of opinions, ideological, gender, ethnic and cultural background, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms.

We also recall that, based on Law on Gender Equality Article 5, paragraph 2: Any provision which is in contradiction to the principle of equal treatment under this Law shall be repealed.