Vjollca Krasniqi is a sociologist. She holds a Ph.D. from the Ljubljana University and holds a Master’s degree in gender studies, development and globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Pristina.
She has been one of the first women from Kosovo active in the women’s movement in the Balkans, organizing and participating in a number of international conferences on political and gender issues. While today, Vjollca is committed to the academic section by researching and writing on topics such as peacebuilding, migration, ethnicity, collective memory, war, post-colonial theories, feminist theories, body, everyday sociology, transnationalism and ethnography.
Vjollca from Mitrovica, but who lives in Pristina noticed the gender regimes since she was young, along with the roles and social positions of women and men. Her childhood is a road filled with memories of literature, art, culture and passion for knowledge. She was always involved in astronomy competitions during primary school, while at the Kosovo level she has won second and third place. Beyond astronomy, Vjollca read much about Anglo-American literature, Albanian and Russian, and was always seeking a place in the universe, identity and belonging.
I was educated to believe that gender equality is the foundation of social development. That gender differences are constructed to give power to men. I grew up with the lesson that the girl and the boy are equal,” says Vjollca. In her studies in English Language and Literature and later in Philosophy and Sociology she further understood more about the great narratives and influences on building gender regimes. Virginia Woolf’s works and Simon de Bouva’s Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy were crucial to her orientation to studies, research and commitment to gender equality. For this she always had the support of family and society, because her effort for gender equality has always defined her.
Being among the first activists in the women’s movement, her journey to gender equality is full of special moments, passionate activists from Kosovo, the region and the world. Some of the happiest moments of her engagement are: Women’s Conference in 2000; Balkan Activists Cross the Borders, and the third, The Women’s Court on Wars in the Former Yugoslavia. All three of these activities mark moments of hope for gender justice in Kosovo and the countries in the region, as well as looking for strategies for a feminist vision for social justice.
“We spoke of a universal language for gender equality by referring to particular conditions. This is how a new feminist political thought was developed”, – Vjollca describes the memories from that time.
Vjollca is currently teaching in the Department of Sociology at the faculty of Philosophy at the Public University of Pristina “Hasan Prishtina”. She is involved in many projects that have had a social impact such as:
1) the University Program for Gender Studies and Research, a platform that develops theoretical critical thinking about gender in undergraduate studies; 2) The civic activist platform ”Let’s march, we do not celebrate” is a different collectivist in order to show gender equality and social justice; and 3) ”The Summer School on Gender and Sexuality” , which develops critical thinking about sexuality and gender, issues and fights homophobia, encourages participation youth in research and advocacy projects for gender justice.
Linked to many forms with women’s rights, Vjollca sees the empowerment of women and men in Kosovo as a right to self-determination. “Empowerment is the freedom to realize dreams and economic, intellectual, artistic and civic potential. The same goes for the man. Formal and non-formal education is key to emancipating policies for social equity.
Today in Kosovo, gender and women’s rights is a major discourse. We are witnessing profound changes about the conceptualization of women’s rights in the institutional and cultural sphere,”
Finally, Vjollca is known for teamwork, work on gender equality, gender justice. She wrote about gender, political and social developments in the Balkans.