The Be a Man Club in Kosovo marked the Zero Discrimination Day on 1 March 2020 in the centre of Pristina and gathered young people from different communities of Kosovo to express their concerns and forms of discrimination from personal experience.
Zero Discrimination Day is a global observance promoting diversity, recalling the equal dignity and worth of every human being, and urging states to end discriminatory laws as well as practices based on sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, disability, skin color, age, etc.
2020 Zero Discrimination Day’s theme was “Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls”. Therefore, this year we took this occasion to raise awareness on the forms of discrimination and discriminatory practices that still affect the lives of Kosovo non-majority communities and other communities’ members, in particular women and girls.
This year’s theme “Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls” could not be more relevant to Kosovo given the gender-based discrimination that many women and girls still experience, in particular those from the most socially vulnerable segments of society like Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community and LGBTQI+ community.
Thus, together with our partners Care International in Balkans, Coalition K10 and with support of the UNFPA in Kosovo, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Oak Foundation, we organized a street action in the centre of Prishtina to mark this day.
Part of this street action was “The Pyramid of Discrimination”, which gathered a lot of youth from all communities in Kosovo who wrote messages on the Pyramid against all forms of discrimination that they face in everyday life.
“When I was asked in a job interview about marriage and children plans”, “when I was denied the right to free expression”, “skin color”, “gender discrimination in workplace and discrimination in wages”, “language discrimination”, “ageism”, “sexual orientations”, “property rights”, were just some of the phrases written in this pyramid. These phrases reflect very well the situation of the forms of discrimination in our community. Therefore, it also shows the work we need to do in order to ensure an equal society and where everyone’s rights are protected regardless of their identities.
A lot of citizens joined us and this activity was covered by the main televisions and central news as well where together we said no to discrimination and joined this important worldwide celebration.
This project is implemented by SIT as a member of K10, with the support of UNFPA Kosovo. This activity is part of the project “Men and Boys as Partners in Promoting Gender Equality and the Prevention of Youth Violence and Extremism in the Balkans” implemented by CARE International Balkans in partnership with SIT – Center for Counseling, Social Services and Research and YMCA in Kosovo supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and Oak Foundation.