Ariana Qosaj – Mustafa, 41, from Pristina, Kosovo has more than 15 years of research experience and capacity building activities related to the rule of law, human rights, women and anti-discrimination related matters in Kosovo. Ariana, as a graduate lawyer at the University of Pristina, and holding a MSc in Gender Studies, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, has changed the lives of many women in Kosovo through laws.
< She has provided gender perspective reviews in many Kosovo laws such as the drafting of the Kosovo Criminal Code, the Law on Gender Equality, the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence, the Anti-Discrimination Law, the Law on Prevention and Protection against Trafficking in Human Beings and Victims of trafficking. She was also the head of the local team under the United Nations administration under Regulation 2003/12 on Protection against Domestic Violence, which was afterwards used to draft the Kosovo Law in 2010 for Protection against Domestic Violence.
She is a woman who, in principle, has never endured injustice, and every difference between people and in particular different treatment has always irritated her. She has received this inspiration and the dedication from her family. Ariana describes her mother, Zejna as a tremendous, feminist worker her role model, who has always influenced her and who continues to influence her life even know. On the other hand, her husband Driton is her greatest supporter, as Ariana calls him an extraordinary father of their daughters: Andrra, Jona, Driana and Idina. But her father, Ali, a lawyer by profession, with high skills of integrity and professionalism, has always protected the rights of employees. She has two brothers, Arben and Blerim, who are her inspiration and support
Raised in very difficult times of isolation and lack of freedom, she and her family and friends have given their best in life and have tried to live every moment of their youth. Her friends: Iliri, Nora, Enisa, Beti and Ermira are part of Ariana’s memories. Together they looked the world with idealism and have made the effort to change the world surrounding them with integrity, values and passion. They were never guided, as Ariana says, by mediocrity or corroboration.
Having a great experience in the rule of law, Ariana recounts a story of the Administration of United Nations and the reaction to a man’s violence against a woman. At that time, a woman had experienced violence from her husband and was sheltered in shelters, but her husband could go and harass the victim whenever he wanted, and in fact did so when the police left. This was because there were no protection orders foreseen in the Regulation on Protection against Domestic Violence.
The police called me all the time asking me what had happened to the Regulation and if they could get the protection orders. And I had answered saying that the Regulation still in a draft form. ”Surely, it stayed for a few months in the drawer of a UN Legal Advisor, but after four months it got signed. This woman immediately demanded protection order and he was forbidden to approach 150 m near the victim, otherwise he would be arrested,” describes Ariana the case.
Although some time has passed since this story, the situation in Kosovo for rights is still formal, and as Ariana says, women still have no equality in any sphere as the economic, political and property power continues to be dominated by men! But, she states, we have extraordinary women who challenge any patriarchal perception or the need for people to get women in defense. I believe that women themselves bring this change and are the main agent of changing society.
Ariana Qosaj-Mustafa is the director of the program and senior researcher at the Kosovo Institute for Policy Research and Development – KIPRED. Prior to joining KIPRED, Ariana was the legal advisor to Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga from 2011-2013, always promoting the role of leading women. She was also part of the organizational team for International Women’s Summit in 2012. She has provided contribution to drafting policies based on its institutional experience in the OSCE Mission in Kosovo during 2002-2006 on the amendment of the Laws on Creating the Concept of Defenders of Victims of Gender-Based Violence, which are now part of the justice system.