Empowerment of women entrepreneurship represents an investment in sustainable development

Prishtina, 10 November – Investments in women’s economic empowerment comprise not only investments in an individual, but also investments in the sustainability of our country, said Deputy-Minister of Economic Development Besa Zogaj-Gashi, during the conference “Gender equality and economy”, organized by UBT College in Prishtina today.

Present in this meeting was also the Vice President of the European Parliament and its Kosovo Rapporteur, Ulrike Lunacek, UBT Rector Edmond Hajrizi, representatives of the Office of President of Kosovo, UNDP, University of Prishtina and civil society.

Deputy Minister Zogaj-Gashi emphasized that statistical data on the country’s workforce in show that there are 0.5 million unemployed women, whereas the ratio of employment in the country is 60 to 40, which represents a significant difference when compared to the countries of the region.

“As regards differences in employment in various sectors, jobs performed usually by women are concentrated in education, healthcare, social services and trade sectors, which provide for 50% of the jobs held by women in the country,” said Zogaj-Gashi, adding that 87% of businesses are owned by men and only 13% by women.

She said that the ministry she represents, responsible for the mining, ICT, energy sectors, women representation is minor. However, in order to remedy this situation, in cooperation with the World Bank, a pilot project “Women and Online Jobs” is being implemented, initially in two Kosovo municipalities and aiming to employ 100 women, while its expansion to cover other Kosovo municipalities is envisaged as well.

According to her, such initiatives are necessary for the mining and energy sectors, as they should prove that these professions are not to be held exclusively by men, but could be typically held by women too, being that without women education and economic empowerment, sustainable economic development would be impossible.

Deputy-Minister of MED congratulated UBT for the establishment of the Center for Gender Equality and Economy, which will serve institutions in their concrete endeavors to ensure that women hold the place they deserve in the society.