| At the Liria women's shelter in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Igballe Hajdari (right), a clothing designer who trains and employs domestic violence survivors, is showing her employees' latest creations to the shelter's founder, Nazife Jonuzi (left).
Violence against women is a serious problem that exists throughout the world. And Kosovo is no exception. In a 2008 UN survey, forty-eight per cent of women in Kosovo said it was okay for their husbands to hit them. Some attitudes may have shifted since then. But the situation today is far from perfect.
The Liria shelter, in the town of Gjilan/Gnjilane, looks after women who have suffered from domestic violence. It gets support from five UN agencies. But despite the welcoming environment at Liria and other shelters in Kosovo, ninety percent of the women there return to violent environments – because they cannot find long-term jobs.
With UN support, Kosovo has become one of the few places in the Balkans that has a law against domestic violence. But the UN Kosovo Team realizes that survivors also need economic independence. That is why it is working with local partners to connect survivors with sustainable employment, so that they can move out of the shelters and restart their lives.