On the Issues Episode 82: Igballe (Igo) Rogova
Welcome to another episode of “On the Issues with Alon Ben-Meir.” Today’s guest is Igballe Rogova, an internationally renowned women’s rights advocate and co-founder and Executive Director of the Kosovo Women’s Network. She was also behind the founding of the Women’s Peace Coalition and the Regional Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe, bringing women’s priorities and political preferences into the regional peace-making process. Igo was also a member of the High-level Advisory Group on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and served on the NATO Civil Society Advisory Panel on Women, Peace and Security.
In today’s episode, Alon and Igo discuss her work as a women’s rights advocate, the UN and NATO’s interference in this work in the post-war period, the progress (or lack thereof) that has been made in Kosovo and across the Balkans in regards to women’s rights, and what the future looks like in this regard.
Igballe Rogova is an internationally renowned women’s rights advocate. In 1989, she co-founded the first women’s organization in Kosovo, Motrat Qiriazi, which she later directed. The organization focused on educating rural women, community development, and supported networking among activists. She was a recipient of the Women of the Year Award from the International Network of Women’s Organizations and the Lydia Sklevicky Prize for her innovative work with women’s groups, awarded by Mamacash.
In 2000, she co-founded the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), where she continues to serve as Executive Director. KWN supports, protects, and promotes women’s rights and interests throughout Kosovo. An early advocate for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Kosovo, immediately after the Resolution’s passage, Igballe often challenged the approach of UN missions and development initiatives in her region. She has worked tirelessly to document and share these stories with high-ranking officials and women’s rights activists in other countries, so they may learn from the mistakes made in Kosovo (e.g., through the widely read 1325 Facts & Fables).
She was a motor behind the Women’s Peace Coalition (WPC), founded in 2006, and the Regional Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe (RWL), which joins women leaders from politics and civil society in advocating for peace and justice in the region. WPC and RWL have been the only voices bringing women’s priorities and political preferences into regional peace-making processes.
In 2014-2015, she was a member of the High-level Advisory Group for the UN Global Study on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She also served on the NATO Civil Society Advisory Panel on Women, Peace and Security.