Assembly of the Republic of Kosova

Roundtable of the Group of Women MPs: Promotion of maternity leave in Kosovo


The Group of Women MPs, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has organized today in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo a roundtable discussion about responsible gender policies for the families in Kosovo.

With the topic " Promotion of Maternity Leave in Kosovo: Strategies for a Change – Including provisions on balancing Work-Life", the round table was followed by fruitful discussions of the participants, who elaborated on the challenges related to the lack of a comprehensive legal framework that regulates maternity leave, as well as the possibility of identifying possible solutions to improve the implementation of maternity leave policies in Kosovo.

The Chairperson of the Group of Women MPs, Tinka Kurti, as the host and at the same time moderator of this roundtable, in her opening speech emphasized the importance of organizing such discussions, and expressed her appreciation for the participation in the today's meeting.

Focusing on the topic of the discussion, she said that only one aspect of regulating this issue is not enough, but we should also work on early childhood education. She added that maternity leave is only one aspect of many issues that need to be regulated.

"It is up to us as MPs to review it as much as we can", emphasized MP Kurti.

The Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, meanwhile said that as a minister she is committed to the empowerment and economic independence of girls and women.

"We really empower women only when we make them economically independent", Minister Haxhiu emphasized.

Whereas, the head of the Office of the Austrian Development Agency, Sandra Horina, said that domestic violence has increased by 30 percent in Kosovo. She said that women are more affected by the pandemic and the economic crisis.

MP Valentina Bunjaku said that when it comes to empowering women, the position and the opposition share the same opinion, while MP Albana Bytyqi emphasized that women should be the center of attention, in order to also create good opportunities for them with the Law on Labor.

During the discussions, it was concluded that the low percentage of women in the labor market is contrary to the directives of the legislation, and it was requested this percentage to be raised, since, as it was said, it is also related to the EU Directive on Work-Life Balance.

The expert on economy, Dita Dobranja, presented some figures showing where women stand in regard to employment in Kosovo, while Visare Mujko-Nimani from UNFPA considered it important that when talking about gender equality, both man and women should be involved. 

The roundtable continued the work with discussions related to various aspects of the topic and how it is treated, in particular in regard to EU directive on work-life balance, focusing on the possibilities of transposing this directive into the legislation of Kosovo, with the aim of increasing the opportunities for participation of women in the labor market and at the same time supporting women in their aspirations for building their career and families.