Changing Lives: We Prefer Certificates to Flowers

Women sewing
Women in remote Kosovo village training to sew

The daily routine of domestic work changed for 25 women of Shajne village in Dragash municipality when two of the youngest proposed professional training on sewing for women and girls as a priority intervention in the village. Enthusiastic to learn as much as possible about the techniques of sewing, they trained hard but also used the opportunity to socialize with each other and exchange views on their problems and concerns.
On 8 March, International Women’s Day, they decided to organize a small exhibition of their creative works, presenting the knowledge they obtained in the training. They hope that, taking into consideration that a jeans factory is to be opened soon close to the village, at least some of them will be able to obtain jobs and support family finances.
The proposal for this training came alive when it was endorsed by the Local Working Group, which was established under the UNDP Dragash and Art Gold project, and the local NGO "Women Initiative".
The activity proved effective in more than one way and opened the door not only to practical training but also to discussions on gender equality in education, employment, property etc., which was led by Municipal Officer for Gender Equality.

Highlights

  • 25 women trained in professional sewing
  • Dragash/s municipality is among the most underdeveloped regions in Kosovo
  • during training women discussed gender equality in education, employment, property


Dragash municipality is among the most underdeveloped regions in Kosovo. The economic situation is dominated by a high rate of unemployment, population loss resulting from large-scale emigration, and limited access to public services such as transportation, education, and phone lines, health facilities and markets.


"It is not that our rights are not being respected, the problem is that we don't ask for our rights. We are taught since childhood to act as not equal to men and it is about time that this changes" says Minire Bajrami, one of the participants. She and her fellow women agree that although the situation cannot change in one day or even one year, they can start thinking of making a difference by educating their children, younger brothers and sisters to think and act differently and by promoting open dialogue with their parents or husbands.