Besiana Behrami, a student in the Faculty of Law, University of Prishtina, says that for the time being, her priority is creating a family, finding a good husband and having children.

“A priority for me is family first of all, and then the career. I think that I will reach my goals in life when I succeed in becoming a role mother and wife.”, says she.

She’s not alone in this: in recent years, there are cases in Kosova, too when women, in a certain period of life, are more interested in their careers than in marrying someone and having children.

A research conducted by the British medical magazine “Health and Social Behaviour Journal”, with 3,000 young mothers, shows that 34 if perceived as the ideal age for giving birth to the first child. Consequently, after completing their studies, women prefer more to work on their careers rather than create a family.

Armenda Berisha, 24, student, sees her future solely as a successful woman and wife, though not necessarily as a mother.

“This mentality that a woman inevitably has be a mother, too, should be discarded. A woman can feel emotionally fulfilled even without being a mother”, says she.

Sociologist Drita Shumolli from Fushe Kosova says that in the Kosovar mentality a woman is inescapably seen as a mother. However, according to her, this has started to change in recently times with the emancipation of women in society.

“The status of a mother is a personal choice of each and every woman, thus should not be judged by anyone”, says she.

According to her, the expression “I don’t want children” is still a taboo for the majority of people, but it is everyone’s right to live how they want to.

Shqipe Ademi, 36, from Prishtina is one of the rare women that do not hide the fact that they do not want to have children, and that they focus on their career.

The decision that she made with her husband, Adnan, can hardly be accepted by others due to the Kosovar mentality “that regards the  woman as a mother only and nothing else”.

At the same time, Ademi couple does not question their decision and say that “ they are not going to sacrifice their own life for the sake of what others are saying”.

For Rama couple, not wanting children is illogical.

Fikretja, 39, and her husband Avni, 43, consider giving birth to a child as a blessing, and in no way as an obstacle.

“We have tried so many ways but did not succeed to have a child yet. Perhaps because we love children so much we cannot accept the fact that someone willingly refuses such a privilege. This is just absurd for us”, they say.

According to the data from 2015, there were 17,494 marriages registered, with the majority of them- 16,274 inside Kosova, whereas 1,220 of them abroad.

There were 1,431 marriages registered at the age of 16-19, 5,604 at the age of 20-24, whereas there were 4,095 couples at age between 25 and 29. There were 2,168 marriages at the age of 30-34. A total of 2,689 married couples are of age 35-49, with only 287 above age 50.

A total of 31,433 children were born this same year, according to Kosovo Agency of Statistics.

Majority of children were born from marriages of couples age 25-29 – 8,611, age 20-24 – 5,768 children, whereas the lowest number was from couples that married at older age…-287 children.

It is indicative that during the same period, 2,677 children were given birth by mothers ages 35-39, 605 children by mothers ages 40-44, 60 children by mothers ages 45-49, whereas the lowest numbers of children were given birth by mothers over 50.

Xhenete Hasani