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27 July 2015

Kosovo: President honours work of Medica Gjakova

VIP guests at Medica Gjakova: On July 22, 2015, the workers at the women’s rights organisation in Gjakova hosted a visit by the President of Kosovo, Ms Atifete Jahjaga, and the Minister of State at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Rt Hon Baroness Anelay. President Jahjaga praised the excellent work of Medica Gjakova for the survivors of rape during the Kosovo war.

During the meeting, Mirlinda Sada, Director of Medica Gjakova, described the special challenges posed by this work and called on the Kosovo government to provide long-term assistance to the affected women. The guests then met seven survivors giving them the opportunity of a direct and detailed exchange with the women. “All of the dialogues were very productive and characterised by mutual appreciation,” explained Mirlinda Sada. “President Atifete Jahjaga and Baroness Joyce Anelay promised us and the survivors their attention and financial assistance.” Other participants in the two-hour meeting at the office of Medica Gjakova were the British Ambassador Ruairi O’ Connell and Ms Mimoza Kusari Lila, the Mayor of Gjakova – the fifth largest municipality in the country.

Survivors experience justice and gain recognition in society

The commitment shown by the President of Kosovo and all the other distinguished visitors demonstrates the changes that are possible when the political leadership of a country tackles the issue of sexualised (wartime) violence. This includes naming injustices which have been committed, assuming responsibility and promoting the involvement of civil society. In this way, survivors experience justice, gain recognition in society and receive the specialist assistance they need. Regrettably, this political willingness is generally the exception rather than the rule.

You can find more information at the Facebook page of Medica Gjakova and at the Website of the President of Kosovo.