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Photo: Driton Paqarada
Photo: Driton Paqarada

Sexual favors in exchange for grades

Meritas mother died while giving birth to her. By becoming a successful gynecologist, she wants to offer the opportunity for all children to have a mother present in their lives while growing up. “An opportunity I never had”, she says.

Merita is now 20-years-old. She was raised by her father and her grandparents. Since her father alone cant cover for her university costs, her grandmother helps by knitting and selling woolen socks. However, not everyone supports Merita in making her dream come true. She explains how her professor has been testing her three times for the same exam, and asked for sexual favors in exchange to let her pass

“I’ve been stagnating for a year and a half now. He has made it clear that I cannot go any further if I don’t give him the favour”, Merika says.

Merita has brought the case to the police, but in the absence of evidence, the process is not going any further. She has now made a request to the Deanto to let a panel examine her the next time, instead of the professor.

“I truly hope that my request will be approved in order for me to continue with my studies.”

Counteract sexual harassments with mobile app

This type of sexual harassments is common in school environments, and often leads to the victim experience serious emotional distress and consequently drop out of studies. This is stated in a report by Kvinna till Kvinnas partner Organization Kosovo Women’s Network. The report also shows that the victims are in different ages, but the most harassed ones are in the age 16-28. The majority of these are women, but other genders were also represented in the report.

Kosovo Womens Network aims to, other than making the issue of sexual harassment in Kosovo visible, put forth concrete ways in which people can combat sexual harassment. Together with two other organizations, they have developed a mobile app called “Ec Shlire”, which means “Walk Freely”. Through the app victims can report harassments they have been experiencing.

Police training on how to use the app for prevention

Data shows that the most frequented location with harassments are streets, but there are trends of harassments at public spaces as universities, restaurants, public transportation and the gym as well. The collected data is used as statistics right now, but the goal is to provide authorities such as the police with data-driven evidence for action against gender-based violence.

“Currently, we are in the process of training Kosovo Police on how to use the platform so these reports do not remain just data”, the project manager Zana Idrizi says.

Updated in: 2018-03-28