Pristina, Kosovo. The first KFOR Conference on Gender Perspective was held yesterday in KFOR HQ, Camp Film City, Pristina/Prishtinë. The conference, strongly supported by COMKFOR, Major General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, was opened by a video message sent by Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga to express "gratitude for supporting the issue of gender equality, an example of which you have as well provided in the composition of the multiethnic force you lead and the societies you all originate from".
"Gender equality – continue the President - has to do with the level of development of a country, functioning of its democracy, its responsibilities towards all its citizens, thus, it has to do with the issues which belong to all of us, both to women and to men. For this reason I consider that there should not be any gender differences if we aspire the comprehensive and overall development of the society".
In his address General Figliuolo remembered how "we strive to integrate gender perspective and gender dimension within our doctrines, policies, plans and orders, from the very highest level down to the very technical and tactical procedures". "Using gender perspective as a tool – COMKFOR added – enables peacekeepers to better understand society. Our mission in Kosovo can be more effective with enhanced female participation at all level".
Throughout the day eight high level speaker take the floor: Adriana Hodzic, Head of Mitrovica North Administration Office, Maj. Claire Wohlshack, KFOR Gender Advisor, Colonel Elmina Mahmuti, President of the association of women in Kosovo Police, Jöelle Vachter Deputy Head of EULEX, Njomza Emini Member of Kosovo Parliament and Head of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare, Colonel Irfete Spahiu Deputy Commander of Kosovo Security Forces Training and Doctrine Centre, Mimoza Hasani Pllana Official for child rights in the Ministry of Education and Isabelle Servoz Gallucci, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Pristina.
They spoke on a range of different topics including politic, administration, rule of law, security and education, analysing how gender inequality affect each of them but, mainly, they went in depth on gender aspect of their personal experience sharing information, best practices and example of success with the audience. After every speech military and civilian audience asked many question to the speakers that answered clearly and acutely to everyone, multiplying, this way, the effectiveness of their participation.
Closing the Conference, COMKFOR thanked the guest for their "dedication, honesty, competence and ability to talk but also to listen" and, underlining the most relevant topics they treated, remembered that "even if in Kosovo many laws have been already approved most of them have yet to be implemented. To do that a change in mind is needed and it is possible only through the education".