‘Preparing young women to lead change’- Declaration from the Launching the Regional Academy, 9-10 December 2020
From the Launching of the Regional Academy for Women Leadership and Mediation (RAWLM) by the RWLSEE
‘Preparing young women to lead change’
(December 9-10, 2020) Regional Women’s Lobby in South East Europe (RWLSEE) launched the Regional Academy for Women Leadership and Mediation (RAWLM) with a strategic mission to help prepare young women to lead change in the Western Balkans. The first activity included two days seminar on ‘Series of Lectures on relevant topics related to RAWLM’s mission.’
The RAWLM Academy is capacity building project that aims to capacitate and encourage young women for leadership and mediation with focus in politics, decision making and peacebuilding and, in COVID-19 response and recovery. It has a regional scope and will include young women from diverse communities of seven focus countries in Western Balkans. RAWLM is supported by the UN Women and Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the joint goal of promoting gender equality and speeding up implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and UNSC Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security as well as Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
The Regional Academy (RAWLM) was launched officially by Edita Tahiri, RWLSEE Chair, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Negotiator of Kosovo, Vlora Nushi, Head, UN Women in Kosovo, Christoffer Orre, Desk Officer at EU department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Olle Ingvarsson, Political Officer, Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo.
In her opening remarks, Edita Tahiri, RWLSEE Chair said “It is a special pleasure to start today the work of the Regional Academy for Women in Leadership and Mediation (RAWLM) established by the Regional Women’s Lobby (RWLSEE). The Academy aims to build the capacity of young girls to lead change in the Western Balkans region. Thank you for your strong support for our mission in preparing young women to lead change in democracy, peacebuilding, and prosperity in our post-conflict region of the Western Balkans. Regional Academy RAWLM will pursue this mission with you on board, the UNWomen and Swedish Government, as our long term strategic partners and supporter. We are committed to put at the service of new generations of women, our trajectory in politics and civil society as women leaders and our experience overcoming challenges. We believe that empowerment of young women is key to consolidate a region with sustainable peace, democracy and gender equality”
UN Women and Swedish Government partners, Vlora Nushi, Head, UN Women in Kosovo, Christoffer Orre, Desk Officer at EU department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Olle Ingvarsson, Political Officer, Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo expressed their high appreciation for this forward looking project and welcomed the young women in the Academy. They promised continuous support on empowering youth in the region of the Western Balkans, as present and future rest on youth and, their agency and influence is important to make changes for a better future.
In two days of the interactive seminar, teaching and practical guidance was provided from seasoned women leaders from the Western Balkans and members of the RWLSEE, including Edita Tahiri, Sonja Biserko, Memnuna Zvizdic, Eglantina Gjermeni, Nada Drobnjak, Gordana Sobol, Irina Pockova and Luljeta Vuniqi. Topics of lectures include areas of politics, peace, security, justice, reconciliation, diplomacy, negotiation, leadership, governance, parliaments, economy and socio-political issues.
With outstanding interest and dynamic interactions, young women fellows’ participants in the academy emerged encouraged and energized. They showed to be focused in searching for knowledge and experience to build their future political and leadership career as well as ready to leverage their influence and, prepared to help shape a just, peaceful and prosperous future of the Western Balkans and beyond.
Committed to the goal of having more young women empowered, encouraged and participating in politics and peacebuilding, RWLSEE and its Regional Academy for Women Leadership and Mediation/RAWLM have successfully accomplished the first activity to be followed with other planned activities. Through Academy, the RWLSEE seek to consolidate the role of young women in the political, decision-making, peace and security agenda in the region. The project’s goal is to increase women’s meaningful participation in political leadership and decision making as well as in peace-building processes, including participation within governments or within civil society structures of the Western Balkans at local, national and regional level. The Academy has helped to amplify their voice, and capacities to take action, provided a platform for regional cooperation and networking as well as helped promote generation equality and bridge intergenerational gap.
The Academy brought together young 35 women, 5 from 7 each focus countries of RWLSEE based on its selection criteria. It has a regional scope and will include young women (aged 18-30) from diverse communities of seven focus countries in Western Balkans.
RWLSEE is a unique regional women peacebuilding organization founded in 2006. Our mission is to empower women and promote gender equality in politics, decision making and peacebuilding and formal peace processes and to promote peace, stability and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of the all six countries of Western Balkans. RWLSEE holds that more women represented in the relevant peace and political processes brings better and more sustainable results. Its membership are high profile women from politics, parliaments, governments and civil society from seven-member countries Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.