Women make up about half of the population, but female animals make up a far smaller percentage of biomedical research subjects.
In neuroscience studies, males outnumbered females nearly six to one. Shansky and others say this is a public health issue because women are more vulnerable to mood or anxiety disorders like major depression or post traumatic stress than men.
She knows that many people in her society think women should be caregivers, good wives, and mothers, who work tirelessly to take care of their families inside and outside of the home.
One of the most visible negative results of these ingrained gender roles is the deep segregation of professions in Kosovo.
UPSHIFT is a program designed to make young people from Kosovo agents of social change by making them the leaders in charge of developing solutions to the problems they face. Rina’s group visited schools in Drenas, informing young students about women’s property rights and asking them to write short essays or poems to be published in their magazine “Together For Equality”.
They also organized debates and training, all as part of their awareness-building activities aimed to inform the youth in Drenas about the many challenges girls and women face in the Kosovar society. She is part of the Young Ambassadors Club and is also the youth leader of the Red Cross’ branch in Drenas, Kosovo.
Gender stereotypes and gender-based discrimination are omnipresent, and women in Kosovo are often deprived of basic rights they should otherwise be entitled to.
Rina’s journey started when she co-organized a debate on gender equality in Drenas, where women and girls shared their thoughts on their right to inherit property.
She is a volunteer at Youth Initiative Human Rights and a local coordinator in Drenas as part of Peer Educators Network.
But even for driven girls like Rina, traditional gender roles can be very harmful.