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Empowering Women through Education

Education, presentations, trainings, public awareness and personality development.

Objective: To raise awareness on gender based violence and influence social norms that prevent equitable relationships between women and men; increase the effective and coordinated response of various institutions to the needs of victims of domestic violence.

Starting with Gender Based Violence (SGBV) program in 1999, it durably helped break the silence about violence, especially domestic violence. It has encouraged people to speak up about gender-based violence and make people aware of its consequences on the family cell. In our community, there used to be a common opinion that domestic violence is a marginal phenomenon, which is not true.

In order to reduce levels of discrimination against women and create an environment that provides equal opportunities for men and women several additional measures are required, including: education campaigns; mainstreaming of gender equality principles into institutional capacity building and policy formulation; additional affirmative action programs; leadership and management training for women on GBV and counter trafficking.

The elimination of its causes requires profound social adjustments, the re-assessment of collective beliefs, and an endeavor that goes beyond dealing with the perpetrators of violence and the survivors of their actions. Generational discontinuity must also be triggered with the introduction of brokers with long-term vocation and impact. Youngsters, if stimulated to analyze and reject acquired gender stereotypes, and given instruments to shape environments epitomized by pacts among equals, are vital to produce enduring changes and re-educate parents, relatives and friends.

In Kosovo where the 52 per cent of the population is under 25 years of age (Human Development Report, UNDP, 2004), youths can play a central role in challenging stances that are conducive to violent practices based on gender discrimination.

WWC believes that the education and awareness component is one of the most important interventions in the community and institutional level that helps on preventing GBV. Involvement of different target groups and both genders, women and men is crucial on achieving effective results for addressing this issue. Youth is a priority target as they are exposed to positive and negative pressure factors. In addition, they might transfer this knowledge and sensitivity to their families and prevent similar cases in their life.

In WWC, out of the whole working time of peer educators, 50% is dedicated to youth target. Therefore, many trainings and workshops are addressed to them in topics such as: healthy relationship, date rape, GBV, gender equality prevention of human being trafficking.

In cooperation with Kosova Women's Network we realize the project "Advantages of breast feeding" with women's group from Peja region.

Develop a Youth Peer Educator Program; examine teen gender roles and behaviors relating to teen relationships, attitudes and beliefs through the utilization of focus groups, review best practices in other countries, adapt materials and youth curriculum to the Kosovar culture, implement a pilot peer educator program with participants from secondary schools and Youth Program.