President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, attended today the Solemn Session, organized at the Parliament of Kosovo on the occasion of March 8th,-International Women’s Day.
The manifestation was attended by the Parliament of Kosovo’s female MP’s, Ambassadors accredited to our country and other invitees.
Documentary film on the “I think of you” artistic installation was screened during the session.
At an address held for the occasion, President Jahjaga said:
Initially, I would like to convey my felicitations to you for this March 8th, International Women’s Day. We have gathered here to watch a documentary, made with my support and is the idea of two Kosova artists on the subject of survivors of sexual violence during the war.
Today’s story is a story of courage, bravery, a story of thousands of women and girls of Kosovo, who, under the shadow of silence and guilt, with open wounds left by this heinous crime, found courage and strength to survive, found courage and strength for a better future, by holding tight to their right of a life in peace and a life with justice in it.
Today’s story is a grave story. It is a story which unveils the great injustice made towards the innocent people of Kosovo, which aimed to degrade the dignity of thousands of women and girls of Kosovo, a heinous war crime, principally intending to instil the sense of fear and oppression and incite massive exodus of the citizens, and above all, to disrobe a whole society of its human values.
The memory of that day, of June 12th of last year, of the most valuable day for Kosovo, for all of its citizens, a day I would say is the holiest of days to us. Kosovo’s Liberation Day, when the green pitch of Prishtina football stadium was covered with 5000 dresses donated by thousands of girls, women and men from all around Kosovo in support of women victims of sexual violence during the war, has been and will always remain fresh in me.
That day conveyed special emotions to me, as well as a great hope, not only to myself, but to all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, who after many years saw an incomparable solidarity to date of thousands of citizens of Kosovo and beyond its borders, who responded to the call made by Kosovar artist Alketa Xhafa-Mripa to donate a dress in aid and moral support for all those women victims of sexual violence during the war.
This was made with a sole purpose to break the silence, to break the stigma, to give voice to all those women who were voiceless since the end of the war, stigmatized and silent. On that day, we broke the silence together.
These women do not ask for much, they only ask for their right to be recognized. We already have the appropriate law passed by the Parliament of Kosovo, and these women are asking for justice within Kosovo as well as abroad, because the guilt does not lie with them but with those who have perpetrated this horrible crime upon their bodies and their lives.
We need to do everything possible for these survivors to have a future in peace, a dignified future, for them, their children and their families.