Kosovo launches drive to encourage women to claim property rights

Photo by: Sandra Coburn / The Cloudburst Group

Originally appeared on the Thomson Reuters Foundation website.

Kosovo is to revolutionize its land laws and will, for the first time, clearly define formal ownership and encourage women to inherit and own land in their own right.

Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci said on Friday that the government wanted to modernize its property system to “bring Kosovo society fully into the Western world” and foster greater equality and prosperity in the Balkan country […] Women in particular had been unfairly excluded from property ownership because of traditional patrilineal values, added Kuci, a former justice minister.

He said only 18 percent of women owned property and cited research by the U.S. government’s development agency USAID showing just 3.8 percent inherited property […] “It is our duty to explain to our citizens the benefits that equal exercise of property rights brings to our own families,” he said.

“When a woman owns property, for example, she can use that property as collateral for a loan to develop her business, allowing her to become self-reliant and independent. When girls are independent, they are more likely to resist domestic violence. This is good for everyone.”

A public campaign to encourage citizens to change their attitudes to women’s property rights and to formalize ownership is already under way with USAID support.

Read the full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation website.


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