PRISTINA: Several hundred people gathered in Pristina yesterday to protest against the murder of a Kosovo Albanian woman that shocked the country, demanding a tougher policy against perpetrators of gender-based violence.
The protesters chanted “Down with the patriarchy” and “Killing of women should be treated as a national emergency” as they walked through the city centre before stopping in front of the government building.
They poured pink paint on the building’s entrance to send the message that “this patriarchal system is based on the bodies and blood of women”.
The protest followed the murder of Liridona Ademaj, 30, a mother of two children who was killed last Wednesday.
The case was initially reported as a robbery that resulted in a murder, but an investigation later revealed that it was a plan prepared by the husband who paid a hitman to kill his wife.
The authorities have not yet revealed the motives for the crime, which has shocked the public in the small Balkan country.
The husband, and two other suspects, one of them the suspected killer, appeared in court on Sunday and were ordered to spend a month in custody.
Commenting on the case, Prime Minister Albin Kurti said his government expects “the punishment to be fair”.
“That is, the maximum”, he added.
According to the non-governmental human rights watchdogs that organised the protest march, 1,165 cases of gender-based violence were reported in the period from January to November.
Ademaj was the third woman killed this year. Since 2010, there have been 54 cases of femicide in Kosovo.
Local experts and analysts say Kosovo’s climb towards broader gender equality represents a tough challenge in a society still steeped in patriarchal protocols.