PRISTINA - Today, the Gender Advisory Unit of UNMIK facilitated for the first time an inter-pillar high level planning meeting on gender issues. Senior officials of UNMIK along with representatives of the four pillars - UNHCR, Civil Administration, OSCE and the European Union - discussed on how best to prioritize and coordinate gender-related policies and activities. Representatives of KFOR, the UN Civilian Police as well as a number of experts dealing with legal matters, education, health, media and economy were also present.
All participants agreed that the establishment of the Gender Strategic Planning Group, as an inter-agency and multi-sectorial working group, was an important step towards the development of a mechanism to plan, implement and monitor gender-related activities in a systematic manner.
The United Nations is committed to gender equality and makes women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all its policies and programmes. Following this principle, the Gender Strategic Planning Group will ensure that gender issues will become an integral part of UNMIK planning.
In this first meeting, participants identified a number of burning issues that need to be addressed in Kosovo. Those issues include the representation of women in the political decision-making process, the protection of the human rights of women with particular emphasis on problems related to violence against women, trafficking and prostitution of women, and the participation of women in the economic recovery of Kosovo.
It is the hope of all members of the Gender Strategic Planning Group that today's meeting will be a first step towards the full integration of gender-related issues into all aspects of the UNMIK mission.
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