Feminist perspective from Southeast Europe: Militarisation and empowerment in Kosovo



Dr. Elife Krasniqi, Institute for Southeast European History and Anthropology, University of Graz

Drivalda Delia, Graduate Schools for East and Southeast European Studies, University of Regensburg


Claudia Laštro, Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz

Topic of discussion

Which roles do women play in resistance movements and armed conflicts? What objectives drive women to join militant and illegal movements? And for what reasons does women's engagement remain invisible in the political memory of these events? The discussion will address these questions by looking at the example of the civil and armed resistance in Kosovo in the period from 1981 to 1999.

The event focuses on the participation of women in the Kosovo Albanian underground movement Ilegalja (or Ilegale) in the 1980s and in the Kosovo Liberation Army (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës, UÇK) in the 1990s. The name Ilegalja encompasses the activism of small, illegal underground groups that rose up against the repression of the Albanian population throughout different periods of Yugoslav state socialism. In the early 1980s, Ilegalja first campaigned for the national unity of the Albanian-speaking population and later for the preservation of the autonomous status of the province Kosovo. Numerous activists of Ilegalja later joined the Kosovo Liberation Army in the 1990s, which led Kosovo's armed struggle for independence. The event will shed light on the self-image of women activists, their prevailing representation in political narratives, as well as women’s role in state-building and today’s society of Kosovo.

The event is aimed at all those who like to learn more about the role of women in civil and armed resistance as well as about gender perspectives on Kosovo’s historiography and political memory.

The event continues the series of "Young Talks" organised by the SOG’s young members.

Am 15.03.2021, 15:30 h

Venue: Zoom

KosovoWestern BalkansHistoryDealing with the Past / Remembrance