Furtuna Sheremeti born in Pristina, in 1989, currently living between Pristina and Leuven (Belgium).
For many years people say that her name is the word that describes her the best. Fortuna means Storm in English! She is unstoppable when she wants to achieve something, determined in her goals, quick and confident with challenges that she encounters. And therefore, she considers that her name describes her in the best way and symbolizes all she is.
Unfortunately, her childhood wasn’t pretty. At a very young age she faced a situation no one ever should face, not even an adult person. She adds that her childhood was a long journey and she couldn’t wait for it to end. Until the age of 5, when her father died and the conflict between Serbs and Albanians started, she had had quiet and easy life. Although many assume that she doesn’t remember anything, she can still recall days spent with her father when he was unemployed, their trips to Rugova and the last trip to former Hotel Union. Her memory consists of short moments that cross her mind occasionally and warm her heart, she says.
Fortuna began to fight for the rights of women because she has strived to work in this direction through different forms throughout her life. She remembers reading books at a very young age, which were part of mandatory literature, and how she was frustrated and asked her mother to explain the reason why the female characters were always victims of society. She made a promise to herself that she will stand for her rights, so she could help other women as well. There wasn’t any specific moment when she told her family and friends what she was doing. They saw her engagement, and received her choice with admiration. They supported her and made it easier, especially her mom. She was the impulse which pushed her to become who she is today, independent and willing to fight for women’s rights, anytime and anywhere.
Her job is interesting because it’s not really specific for women, but one of the reasons why she studied law is because it gives her a chance to help victims. Women were greatest victims in cases she has worked on, no exceptions. When she thinks back, she remembers cases she worked on in the Constitutional court. She will always remember a case of a murder, when a girl was killed in mysterious circumstances. She still thinks of time she devoted to that case, because she feels that she helped for the victim’s voice to be heard. She analyzed many precedents which show that women shouldn’t be killed.
She speaks about equal rights for women in Kosovo through a proverb „Women who want to be equal to men – they lack ambition“. She doesn’t remember who said that, but she feels that this should become a motto for women. Reality on Kosovo today, regarding women rights, will leave many wishes, but she states that the approach was wrong on many occasions, because, as she says, women expect others to just come and give them their rights. She objects that, and she feels that women should take their rights. It’s enough if we work hard. There are no words which could emphasize how important it is to become an independent lady. She is aware that it isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either.
Empowering women is interesting statement, for her. She says that women are powerful enough and that they always had necessary qualities, but society convinced them otherwise. It made us believe that we are weaker, that out role is secondary, that we are, as Simone de Bevouir said, the “second gender”. That’s why she feels that it’s necessary to pay close attention how we raise boys. She suggests to let girls “breathe” a little, and to allow them to dream. This, says Fortuna, would be an important step towards closing the gap between boy’s and girl’s education.
She currently lives between Belgium and Kosovo, she is enrolled in Criminal Law PhD studies in Leuven, Belgium. She also works at the University, and the reason why she keeps coming back to Kosovo is to remain active and not to lose contacts. She conducts interview with victims of war crimes on Kosovo. They are victims of war crimes, torture, rape, deportation… Women were, and will always be the most important subjects in her studies.
Social impact in her field of work is rare. She likes to think that her work, on which she spent years, and will continue to work on it for years, will have a social impact. That motivates her to continue with passion. She says that it isn’t easy to work on something without being able to see immediate results, however, she maintains that significant changes demand time, and the outcome of her work will be seen in the years to come.