PRP Success Story: Strengthening Gender, Property and Economic Opportunity in Kosovo

“USAID is committed to assist the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to institute safeguards that will help prevent women from being pressured to renounce their rights to inherit property because ensuring that women have equal rights to property helps empower women to engage in Kosovo’s economy and contribute to its growth” – Mr. James Hope, USAID Mission Director

Promoting equality between girls, boys,  men, and women in Kosovo is crucial to ensuring sustainable progress and prosperity.

However, even though the laws addressing gender and property in Kosovo meets modern standards, there are inconsistencies within the legal framework which make the interpretation and administration of these laws often difficult and unclear.

In recognition of this challenge, the USAID Property Rights Program (PRP) is working closely with the Government of Kosovo as well as donors and CSO partner organizations in supporting the development of a multi-faceted reform effort to be undertaken by the Ministry of Justice, line ministries and agencies which aim to better clarify how women can access and retain their rightful ownership to property.

Continuing its efforts to Enhance Women’s Rights to Use Property in Practice, the Program publicly released a report on ‘Gender, Property and

Economic Opportunity in Kosovo’, highlighting a range of issues currently preventing women from effectively exercising their property rights, and in some cases limiting business opportunities for women which would otherwise be available to them.

This activity is in line with the Minister’s reform initiative to develop legislation that will provide stricter safeguards against undue pressure and coercion experienced by women to renounce their rights to inherit property.

Moreover, efforts to secure the property rights of more than half of Kosovo’s population not only strengthens the rule of law, but it also helps to promote the country’s economic growth.

Increasing the efficiency and accountability in the adjudication of property rights cases, enhancing communication and outreach activities to begin to change cultural attitudes and behaviors and improving administrative processes at the municipal level requires joint efforts with partner organizations assisting the Ministry and other government agencies involved with property rights matters in Kosovo.

Supporting the Ministry’s initiative is at the core of USAID’s Property Rights Program assistance to strengthen and protect women’s rights to property. The continued promotion of economic opportunity for women through land will encourage a larger share for them in the growing prosperity in Kosovo.