Movie puts spotlight on forced marriage in Kosovo

A new film highlights the plight of girls from Kosovo’s Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities forced into teen marriages – and how they can say ‘No’.

Romni, a short film made in Kosovo, focuses on the life of a Roma girl who runs away from early marriage to pursue her dreams.
Faced with early, forced marriage, on her wedding day Shpresa flees her home to avoid the fate of so many of her peers.
This film shows how families “bargain” over girls’ marriages, the socio-economic conditions in which these families find themselves, the despair in the eyes of the mothers that have to marry off their young daughters to save them from poverty – mothers who are unaware of the rights that belong to them.
To complete the mosaic, Shpresa runs away from marriage what she does not reject with words, but, symbolically, cuts off her hair to express her dissatisfaction.
The same issue is the subject of a documentary Like a Real Woman, which focuses on the stories of community activists dealing with early marriages, and their struggle to eliminate the phenomenon.
The film was screened at the Armata Cinema in Prishtina on International Human Rights Day as part of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” program, with the support of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK.