In Kosovo (as per UN Security Council resolution 1244), UN Women is working on challenging gender disparities and facilitating the adaptation of international and regional standards for gender equality. We share the experience of Anisa Bina, a former UN Volunteer, and how she supported UN Women in promoting gender equality and countering gender-based violence, both before and during the COVID-19 crisis.
Anisa Bina, 29, leaped at the chance to advance UN Women’s mission and vision when she was selected for a national UN Volunteer assignment as Communications Assistant. While some young people may find themselves at crossroads when finishing their studies, Anisa had already set her mind on what she wanted to do in accordance with her values and background.
I was always interested in gender and transitional justice, so I decided to focus my thesis on a gendered analysis of transitional justice processes in Balkans. I had always been aware of the work that UN Women does both globally and in Kosovo, but while doing my research I got further familiarized with the work of UN Women on conflict related sexual violence. --Anisa Bina, former UN Volunteer with UN Women
In recent years, UN Women in Kosovo has supported activities and programmes focusing on ending violence against women and advancing the peace and security agenda. Anisa’s role as Communications Assistant put her at the core of these projects, promoting gender equality, challenging gender stereotypes, increasing awareness of gender-based violence, and ensuring that women and men are equally represented.
I think my work helped quite a lot in terms of communications – writing articles, maintaining social media accounts, organizing campaigns. Our UN Women Kosovo Facebook Page was chosen as the UN Women page with the highest growth in the world in 2019, and that is something that I am really happy about. --Anisa Bina
Countering gender-based violence during the outbreak
Recently with the outbreak of novel coronavirus, UN Women has been engaged in supporting the response to the pandemic and minimizing its impact, focusing particularly on tackling the issue of gender-based violence, which unfortunately saw a dramatic increase due to the pandemic. UN Women launched a Kosovo-wide campaign on the Prevention of Domestic Violence. The campaign successfully reached more than one million people in Kosovo and Anisa has been part of important advocacy efforts to mitigate the detrimental effects that COVID-19 has on women and girls.
The strategic approach of the campaign was to have Kosovo’s public figures and political leaders delivering messages in local languages, ensuring women and girls that Kosovo institutions were on their side, encouraging them to call for help and report cases. --Anisa Bina
Anisa has since taken a bigger responsibility with UN Women in Kosovo and today she is leading all communications efforts within the organization working there as Communications Officer.
I strongly recommend the UNV programme. Volunteering is an extremely helpful experience, as you have the chance to be supervised and guided by competent professionals, and to continue developing your career. --Anisa Bina
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).