FNF and German-Kosovar Business Association stand up for women’s rights

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in cooperation with the German-Kosovar Business Association (OEGJK/KDWV) recently published an analysis called “Challenges of Accessing the Labor Market – Middle-Aged Women in Kosovo”. Sustainably addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that involves policy interventions, societal shifts in attitudes towards gender roles, investment in education and training, provision of support services for working parents, and promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities.

The publication, drafted by experts Dr. Saxhide Mustafa and Shqipe Gjocaj, found that a lot of women in Kosovo face double discrimination, both in gender and in age. There are widespread discriminatory policies against women aged 40+, and in contrast favourable stereotypes about the young population. The study specifically elaborates on the challenges and barriers that middle-aged women face in the labour market.

During the presentation of the analysis, Agon Dobruna, Deputy Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers, claimed that “the support of the Ministry has been targeted to support women in different dimensions, whether through support of family economies, inclusion in the labour market or support towards new entrepreneurship”. Dr. Minire Çitaku from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom explained that the labour market for middle-aged women in Kosovo has had different developments in recent years. Overall, women in this age group have faced and still are facing very specific challenges in finding and keeping a job, although slight progress has been made.

In some industries and professions, the involvement of women has increased significantly. For example, the education and health services sectors are two areas where middle-aged women have a significant presence. In these areas, there have been initiatives and policies aimed at increasing women’s participation in the workforce. However, although there has been progress, there are still major challenges: gender discrimination is a widespread problem in many countries, including Kosovo. Women may face lower pay compared to their male counterparts, and may be underrepresented in leadership positions.