Women, Peace & Security: A Kosovo/Serbia Case Study in Women's Activism across Borders
Monday, April 22, 2013 - 6:15pm - 8:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building, Room 801
Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by Igballe Rogova, Executive Director, Kosova Women's Network. Igo will talk about the struggle to ensure women's voices were heard during and after the conflict in Kosovo. When Igballe ("Igo") Rogova first heard that Serbian women protested regularly against the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Slobodan Milosevic-led regime against Kosovo Albanians, she had to see for herself. She travelled to Belgrade, where she soon found herself protesting every week together with Women in Black Serbia against Milosevic's repressive policies. After the war, Igo co-founded the Kosovo Women's Network, which quickly became a loud advocate for women's participation in post-conflict, peace building processes. She drew from relationships established during the 1990s with Women in Black Network Serbia to found the Women's Peace Coalition. When international and local authorities failed to involve women in peace negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia, the Coalition voiced women's views through press releases and joint letters delivered to ranking officials. Igo also co-founded the Regional Women's Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe (RWL), which brought together prominent women leaders from the region to promote a peaceful solution for Kosovo. The Lobby served as a space where women politicians and civil society leaders could make statements that contradicted the official views of their national governments.