Kosovo is hosting an international women's summit in the capital, Pristina.
Kosovo's President, Atifete Jahjaga, said the three-day gathering is bringing together women from around the globe to seek solutions to issues facing women, including economic empowerment and political participation.
"We come from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different experiences and different corners of the globe and we come together here in Pristina to work together to find answers and solutions to the issues of our region and throughout the globe. We will tackle political participation, economic empowerment and we will look into the role of women in security," Jahjaga told participants.
Through a video link, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the "conference represents a growing understanding that to create economic opportunity, political progress and social equality we need women's ideas, energy and perspective."
"Around the world, women are blazing new trails, they are removing long, entrenched obstacles and standing up for their rights and opportunities," Clinton said.
Women from 100 countries are taking part in the summit, among them former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
"As I have often said, democracy in any country is difficult, but without women democracy in any country is impossible," Albright said.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
It is recognized by 91 out of 193 UN member states, but has no seat as an independent nation at the world body.
Serbia insists it will never recognize Kosovo, which it views as a national heartland.