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Sadete Citaku, #femdefener from Kosovo. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Olga Beletski.
Sadete Citaku, #femdefener from Kosovo. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Olga Beletski.

"It was the son who got an education"

When her friend was sexually harassed by men in power at the university, she and some other students formed a group to work for change. Sadete Citaku from Kosovo wants to fight the difference in freedom between young women and men, and dreams of a world where men’s violence against women no longer exists.

”When we have guests at home, there are things I’m not supposed to say or do. It bugs me that I have to behave in a certain way simply because I’m a young woman. It bugs me that I’m always afraid when I’m waiting alone at a bus stop. My mum calls me a hundred times a night just to be sure that I get home in one piece. My brother can come and go as he pleases. There’s a saying that goes: ’Guys always have a door open for them to come and go through’. They’re much freer than us girls.

I’m studying law and psychology at university along with many other young women. That makes me happy. Just a few years ago, we didn’t have the same opportunities to study as guys. If a family could only afford to send one child to university, it was always the son.

When do you feel brave?When I see other women being brave. And when I see women encouraging other women, I want to do the same.

But at the same time, sexual harassment is common at the university. My friend was harassed by her teacher. When she went to report it to the vice-chancellor, he did the same thing as the teacher had done. She had no proof so she couldn’t do anything or get any redress. We have now started a group at the university to bring about change.

I dream of a world where there’s no more violence against women. Never again do I want to turn on the TV and see news about yet another man abusing a woman. I want all women to support each other. When I graduate I’ll start a human rights organisation in Skenderaj, where I live. I want to get involved in young women’s issues but also to start a project for our grandmothers. I want to tell them about their rights and that things have changed since they were young.”

Told by Sadete Citaku.
Written down by Olga Beletski.

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Updated in: 2015-12-07