One in ten women in Kosovo has a job

Women in Kosovo are not only excluded from history, politics and economics, not only are they discriminated in terms of inheritance rights, but they are also discriminated agains when it comes to competition for vacancies from the get-go (in many cases, calls specifically request young women of 20-25) even though Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Labour Law (Public Competition) states that “competition should be equal for all candidates, without any discrimination, as required by this law and other applicable laws”.

Neither international institutions in Kosovo are immune from the abuse on women in regards of their social status and their relation with the employer. In this context, a bank with international capital is suspected that conducted a massive lay-off of employees solely based on their looks.

More than 50 staff of "ProCredit" Bank were interviewed by the newspaper “Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë”, including previous management representatives, who presented a disturbing picture of the pressures to suspend people from work. One of them complained that he had been asked to dismiss an employee because of their appearance. Prosecution has started investigations against senior managers in "ProCredit". The bank one the other hands, one with the largest gains in Kosovo, denies all allegations.

ProCredit Bank has dismissed from work 389 people in the last three years. The bank's media office confirmed that the total number of employees in 2011 was 1,071, whereas, according to the Central Bank of Kosovo, the number was reduced to 711 at the end of 2014.

According to a D4D research, in every ten women in Kosovo, only one of them works and one is looking for work, eight others do not work and are not looking for work. Mr. Andreas Polterman from “Heinrich Boll Stifftung “, the organization that has supported the research, said that this discriminatory report on employment may be one of the reasons for migration. “A patriarchal society that does not offer equal employment opportunities for women and that is unequitable, is one more reason pushing citizens to emigrate. Gender equality – a step towards the European Union. Inactive unemployment numbers are alarming. Kosovo needs to develop an educated society with gender equality in employment”, Polterman said.

At the same, "Kosovo scientists" came “to the rescue” of the debate with claims that supposedly exposed the male “superiority". In the 11th grade Psychology book science is not only misconstrued, but it is also blatantly used to offend women.

According to media reports in Pristina, in the Psychology book, written by three renowned authors, Pajazit Nushi, Neki Juniku and Dashamir Bërxulli, middle school students learn how the female brain is different from male one. "The result is that brains are wired in different ways; the brain of a male is for “doing”, that of the female is for “talking”", is written in the book.

However, discrimination against women in employment policies is currently an issue in Western, developed countries like the US as well. Witness became the winner of this year's Oscar for best actress in a supporting role (movie Boyhood), Patricia Arquette, who did not forget to thank every woman who fights for her rights. She was supported by the legendary Meryl Streep and the majority of women in the audience when she called for equal pay between men and women for the same jobs.

Gur Kalaja
Pristina, March 2015