A 2013 survey in Kosovo showed that 95% of women were engaged daily in agricultural activities and 78% of women reported having input in household investment decisions. However, a woman’s ability to fully participate in and gain from economic growth is limited. The legal recognition of women’s property rights is a key component to their role as economic actors. The lack of formalization of property rights for women can prevent women from reaping the benefit of their own labor.
The USAID Property Rights Program, along with Crimson Capital Fund has undertaken to raise awareness of the crucial role that property rights play in access to credit to help women start or grow their business. Around 200 owners of women’s businesses have actively participated in three workshops organized in Gjakova, Gjilan, and Peja municipalities to increase women’s awareness of access to finance and the importance of property rights in the process.
The coordination with local government authorities is important. The support and political commitment expressed by the mayors of Gjakova, Gjilan, and Peja at these workshops lends encouragement to women business owners to consider property rights as an important factor for a brighter economic future. Access to financing and the importance of property rights can create new opportunities in the advancement of women’s economic development in Kosovo.
The USAID Property Rights Program will continue with targeted information campaigns and community support measures that can make a critical impact for the economic improvement of women and their families. Eliminating the existing barriers to control over property will foster greater opportunities for women to engage in economic activity and contribute to the welfare of society as a whole.