A rival would-be president, Ramush Haradinaj, a wartime K.L.A. commander and former nightclub bouncer, said during the campaign that Serbia would cheer if Ms. Osmani were selected because it feared a strong male leader like himself, preferring a “weak woman.”

An ally of Mr. Haradinaj’s derided Ms. Osmani as a “fat woman.” After a public uproar, he said that he had been misunderstood and that he had meant she was “fat in the brain.”

Such appeals to macho sentiments did not help in the election: Mr. Haradinaj’s party won only 7 percent of the vote.

The challenges facing the new female lawmakers are immense. Corruption is rampant, inequality huge and development scarce. Nearly a third of the population is unemployed, with a jobless rate at over 50 percent for young people and 80 percent for women, by some counts. Ms. Bala, the activist, said that while 60 percent of university graduates each year are women, 70 percent of job offers go to men.

Many of the female candidates explicitly targeted those issues in their campaigning.

Doarsa Kica, a 30-year-old lawyer, gave up her job to run on an anticorruption platform, citing encounters in court with corrupt judges and anger at politicians “who live in million-dollar houses when they only have a $1,000 monthly salary.” Ms. Kica joined the ticket of Ms. Osmani, her former professor at Pristina University, and won a seat.

The emergence of women in Kosovo politics has been a long, painful process.

Kosovo has had one female president, but that was the result of a back-room deal engineered by the United States, which led a NATO bombing campaign that broke Serbia’s grip on the territory in 1999 and has since played a major role in its affairs.

The United Nations, which administered Kosovo for nearly a decade after the war, also imposed a quota system in 2000 that guaranteed women 30 percent of the seats in Parliament.

But with voters now accustomed to women in Parliament and disenchanted with many male politicians, female candidates are winning representation outright. Ms. Bogujevci, for instance, first entered Parliament in 2017 under the quota system but, after doubling her vote count on Feb. 14, won on her own.

Igballe Rogova, a women’s rights activist, said voters were now looking at female candidates “not as quota women, but as politicians who make promises and keep them and deserve votes.”

Mr. Kurti, who leads a center-left party that joined forces with Ms. Osmani, has a strong record of promoting women. Briefly prime minister last year, he put women in charge of a third of Kosovo’s ministries. Previous governments appointed just one or none.

The joint election ticket he headed with Ms. Osmani pledged that all state agencies and enterprises would be ordered to enforce hiring equality. Governments dominated by former K.L.A. commanders had for years resisted giving women who had fought in the war the status and pensions accorded to male fighters.

Ms. Bala, the activist, who carried a gun in the war, said that many women had taken part in the armed struggle against Serbian forces but were later written out of the script. “A myth was created that only men are strong and can fight,” she said.

Another fraught issue has been whether rape survivors, of which there were thousands during the war, should be recognized as war victims entitled to a monthly government stipend.

Legislation allowing rape survivors to apply for compensation was passed in 2014 after intense lobbying by Ms. Osmani. That was despite demands from some male legislators that women who had been raped in the 1990s get a medical certificate from a doctor — more than 20 years later — to prove that they were not lying.

Such demands, Ms. Osmani said, were “ridiculous and very insulting toward women.”

Ms. Bogujevci’s road to Parliament was also a long one. “I always said I would never enter politics,” she said in an interview in her family’s hometown, Podujeva.

She was flown to Britain for medical treatment soon after the fighting ended, and spent nearly 15 years building a new life in Manchester in the north of England, but started making increasingly frequent trips back to her home region.

She testified against her family’s killers before a court in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and exhibited an art display she had created chronicling her family’s story. She has now moved back to Kosovo, where strangers stop her on the street to voice admiration and support.

Like most Kosovo towns, Podujeva has a hulking war monument in its center featuring statues of burly men with guns. When Ms. Bogujevci visited before the election, however, she immediately became the center of attention, thronged by well-wishers.

Bokim Gashe, standing in the snow outside his wife’s tailoring business, said he would “of course” vote for her.

“She is stronger than all the men around here,” he said.

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