Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I am embarrassed to say that I’ve never heard of it, nor do I recall celebrating it in the U.S. While en route to school, I passed through a crowd at the National Theatre and thought it was the makings of another political rally. A week earlier, there had been a four-hour long protest led by VETËVENDOSJE! about Kosovo’s name and recognition at upcoming regional talks. (The National’s close proximity to Parliament as well as the ready-made speaker’s platform provided by its entrance staircase make the theatre an ideal gathering area.)
International Women’s Day in Prishtinë was marked by several protests, activities, and celebrations. The first I encountered was the one pictured here: “Forget Flowers: We Want Justice for Women Raped during the War!” The systematic rape of Muslim/non-Serbian women in Bosnia (as presented in Angelina Jolie’s new film) and Kosovo remains one of greatest horrors of the recent war and leaves a wound that may never heal.
I was honored to witness the courage and dignity of these women. May justice prevail.