On Wednesday, 20th of February, at KosovaLive we held the networking event between journalists and Women Assembly Members, within the framework of Femsamble project.

KosovaLive’s purpose is that with this project to create a long-term connection between journalist and assembly members, in order to inform the public about politic issues and to bring forward cases that they want to.

The event gathered activists, researchers, journalists and assembly members, to discuss, survey and identify potential methods of increasing communication between people’s representatives (assembly members) and people’s voice (journalists).

The topics of discussion at the panels where “Increasing communication about matters that impact the overall well-being of women and children” and “Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments “.

The speakers at the first panel where Leonora Shabani Bajraktari– Assembly Member at the Municipality of Prishtina, and Dafina Halili, Journalist at Kosovo 2.0.

It exists a relationship established between men journalists and politicians, but there is not such connection between women journalists and woman politicians.” said Dafina Halili.

Dafina Halili, Journalist at Kosovo 2.0.

She also added that this is a misfortune because women stay completely uninformed about the inner politics connections that take place, and not a lot of women achieve to push trough these politics.

Unfortunately most of the women assembly members look only after the politics of their party program and do only what their leader tells them to do.

Leonora Shabani Bajraktari is one of the few assembly members that applied with her program and not the program of her party’s leader. She was the founder of the” Down Syndrome Kosova” organization, that took the initiative to work with mothers but also in the incorporation of kids with Down Syndrome into the society, to do practice work with the students of Education, Logopedy and Social Work Faculty.

With the works within the organization I created connections with journalists and moderators. After getting involved in politics I kept those connections, and they covered the social works. I try to tell that you can also make changes with politics.” said Leonora.

Leonora Shabani Bajraktari- Assembly Member at the Municipality of Prishtina, and Dafina Halili, Journalist at Kosovo 2.0.

The second panel was focused on Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments, with speakers Aulone Mehmeti, Activist, Researcher at Admovere and Arbresha Berisha, Journalists, Zeri, and alumni GlobalGirl Media Kosova.

They spoke more about the access to public information and documents.

Kosova offers enough space to have access on public documents, but often the law and the legal mechanisms that are created just to be formally there. ” said Memeti.

Aulone Mehmeti, Activist, Researcher at Admovere

Arbresa Berisha also described the difficulties on the access of information. She says that the transparency in Kosovo is not at the right level.

Even though the law guaranties the access on the information, many times you have to follow people for 2-3 days to get an information, and at the end, they give you the information they want, not what you actually need.” described Berisha.

Arbresha Berisha, Journalists, Zeri, and alumni GlobalGirl Media Kosova

At the third panel Besa Luzha from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation said the closing words. She spoke about the importance of the citizens participation in important decision making.

We should find a way on how to accomplish the things that we want. Each municipality has its own problems. They need to get addressed and to be treated.” said Luzha.

Besa Luzha from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Qendresa Kukaj from Lens

According to her, democracy starts at the local level and each member of civil society should be included in politics, because politics are the education, health and wellbeing.

KosovaLive has created a database of women assembly members and women journalists in the country, with the purpose of establishing a more efficient communication challenge between them, so they can highlight pressing matters for society more easily.

This project is supported by “Grass Roots Action Support – GRASS” , is an EU funded project managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by IKS, Lens and FES.