March 22, 2016 | Tuesday

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The EU Information and Cultural Centres in Pristina and North Mitrovica conclude the campaign on preventing gender based violence

The EUICC Centres in Pristina and Mitrovica have continued the bi-monthly campaign, “EU is about preventing gender based violence” for the month of January. This month, the Centres launched new EUICC events including the EU Talks discussion series and the EUICC Open Houses that will continue throughout the year in addition to EUICC Movie Night and the Master Class series.

The EUICCs started the year with a screening of the BBC Documentary “All that stands in the way – Girls” which represents the life of four girls from different regions of the world who discuss and question their freedom and gender equality  in their respective society throughout the documentary. The documentary was followed by a discussion with panelists in both Centres. In Prishtina, Sibel Halimi, sociologist and gender equality activist and Fadil Hysaj, director and playwright, discussed Kosovo’s position toward women’s rights, the freedom they have in society and the sexism they face every day. Ms. Halimi stated that, “Women themselves have to fight sexism as it is the highest degree of awareness, which will inspire men to be released from their socially constructed position.”

In North Mitrovica, the members of the audience were able to pinpoint different aspects of women’s rights and gender equality by discussing the core of the problem with Program Director at Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture, Mr Srđan Simonović. As Project Manager for the Women’s  Empowerment and Property Rights Program, Mr.  Simonović highlighted the necessity for proper education and freedom of choice and expression to combat gender stereotypes.

The EUICC Open House is a new activity introduced by both centres in 2016. This month, the EUICC in Pristina opened a photo exhibition titled “6×6” featuring the work of six young photographers from Kosovo, selected by renown photographer, Hazir Reka highlighting ethnic communities across Kosovo’s regions. The exhibit will be at the EUICC in Pristina until February 22nd, open from 12:00 – 14:00 daily. The EUICC in North Mitrovica in cooperation with the Institute for Territorial Economic Development organized a photo exhibition on promoting Tourism in the North, featuring outdoor activities, landscapes and vistas of Mokra Gora.

The EUICC in Pristina launched the EU Talks program in January featuring a discussion on how Kosovo’s media mirrors gender and serves as a dominant tool shaping public opinion. The panel included Vjollca Krasniqi, Professor of Gender Studies at University of Pristina, Besa Luci, Chief Editor at Kosovo 2.0, Naile Selimaj Krasniqi, Chief Executive of Independent Media Commission (IMC) and Shqipe Gjocaj, feminist activist at PEN and a Sbunker blogger. The panelists concluded that gender equality is not an integral consideration in Kosovo’s news production, the editorial policy is male-dominated and the Independent Media Commission, though not under their remit to monitor the gender representation in media, have identified a low percentage of women’s presence in media and gender issues in national broadcast media during weekly on air programming.

The EU Master Class series featured a presentation on Feminist Art with theatre director and feminist artist Zana Hoxha Krasniqi held on 29 January to an audience of artists and students. Ms. Krasniqi described her artistic work as a weapon for social change and gender equality which conveys messages that appeal not only to women but also to men. The series of Master Classes continued at EUICC North as well with a lecture on internet violence and its dangers for juvenile internet users with Ruzica Simic, women’s rights activist for North. Ms. Simic pointed out that besides offering numerous benefits in life, the media and technology explosion worldwide has also opened a doorway to cyber bullying, online harassment and other types of electronic violence that affect young women in particular.

Activities organised by the Centres in Pristina and North Mitrovica during the month of December and January were part of the final month of the campaign on preventing gender based violence under the framework of the UN global campaign on ending violence against women and girls.