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Kosovo ambassador works for advancement of women

Ambassador Teuta Sahatqija meets with Ohio Northern University LL.M. in Democratic Governance students in the Tilton Hall of Law at Ohio Northern (Photo by Ohio Northern University/ Trevor Jones).

Consul General Teuta Sahatqija from Kosovo spoke to a full audience of students and faculty in the Moot Courtroom about the importance of women in transitional states.

Kosovo is a relatively young country, having been officially separated from Serbia in 2008. The latest population figures for Kosovo are just under two million people. Over 140 countries recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state except Serbia, making Kosovo a disputed territory.  

Before becoming an ambassador, Sahatqija served in the Kosovo Parliament from 2004 and has also served on the committee on European integration. She recently was the vice president of the Democratic League of Kosovo. Sahatqija has been a bold advocate for the empowerment of women in the economy and politics of the world. 

The Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law hosted Sahatqija’s presentation during her recent visit to ONU. During her time at ONU, she met with several faculty members of the Pettit College of Law, including some who are from Kosovo. Sahatqija also interacted with President Daniel DiBiasio and they exchanged gifts; DiBiasio received a winter scene of Kosovo’s capital, Pristina.   

The fledgling nation is in an important developing period where the role of women is coming to a higher pedestal than previous times in the Balkans.

Sahatgija said, “We need to create groups of women in parliament, judiciary, municipalities, in police and networking with those groups.”

She ended her presentation by explaining that equality and justice are not the same thing, using pictures to illustrate. 

The justice is when you create affirmative measures and to be able to contribute,” she said. She used this to show that there must be laws and policies in place that allow those groups such as women in Kosovo who are in the process of emerging as a stronger group. 

During a question-and-answer session, Sahatqija received a question about the presence of women in opposition to gender equality in the fight for gender equality. Sahatqija responded with a story about when she was waiting for a visa to go to Sweden for a conference. A young woman came to her and asked her if she was the woman fighting against men on television and said, “If I was your husband, I’d beat you every day.”

She added, “If a woman is able to respect herself first, she is able to respect other women. If she will not respect herself, how will she see another woman, parliamentarian, or director or other.”