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Towards Equality in Albania Actions and Achievements

Support to the Implementation of the National Strategy for Gender Equality and Eradication of Domestic Violence (NSGE-DV) Advancing Democratic Governance in Albania (2008-2011)

“A society in which gender equality is respected and appreciated, taught, supported and promoted; gender-based violence of any form is not tolerated, but is punished; victims of gender-based violence are supported and protected; and equality in opportunity and treatment is a reality for all women and men.” – The recently adopted National Strategy on Gender Equality, Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence 2011-2015, which builds on the achievements of the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality.

Copyright United Nations, Albania, October 2012 Published and produced by UN Women for the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equity in Albania 2IÀFHRIWKH815HVLGHQW&RRUGLQDWRU Skenderbej Street, Gurten Building, 2nd Floor Tirana, Albania Tel: +355 (4) 2250205, 2250224 Fax: +355 (4) 2250286, 2250289 Internet: For more information, please contact: Estela Bulku, National Programme Coordinator for the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality,

3KRWRFUHGLWV5RODQG7DVKRDQG81$JHQFLHVLQ$OEDQLD Graphic design: Maria José Ciller Writing and editing: Lisa Hiller-Garvey and Macarena Aguilar

Towards Equality in Albania Actions and Achievements

Support to the Implementation of the National Strategy for Gender Equality and Eradication of Domestic Violence (NSGE-DV) Advancing Democratic Governance in Albania (2008-2011)


Participating UN Agencies: UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF Implementing and Partner Organisations: The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, line Ministries, INSTAT, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Equal Opportunities and Juvenile Issues, the School of Magistrates, municipalities and local authorities, national/local level civil society organisations, media, and international organisations working on gender in Albania.


Albanian Women Witness Momentous Change

The UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality was instrumental LQPDNLQJVLJQLÀFDQWFKDQJHVIRU$OEDQLDQZRPHQDQGRSHQing-up new possibilities for them to participate more equally in their society. Working together under the Programme, the government, UN, non-government organisations (NGOs), and civil society helped:

Weave action on equality into all government work. This included revising laws, drafting new ones and training authorities and the judiciary on how to implement these changes. Work in this area also involved helping the needed institutions to get up and running. (VWDEOLVK WKH VNLOOV DQG V\VWHPV WR SURGXFH JHQGHUVSHFLÀF GDWD DQG DQDO\VLV This informed national policies and programmes aimed at empowering women. It involved establishing a national Set of Indicators that government is now reporting against. The Programme also undertook ground-breaking research that shaped policies and revealed the status of women for WKHÀUVWWLPH Integrate the practice of preparing budgets with a gender perspective across all Ministries. All Ministries are now obligated to have at least one equality goal in their budgets. This is expected to yield special programmes promoting equal opportunities in areas such as agriculture, health, education, and transport. Foster new hope among survivors of domestic violence WKURXJK D QHZ ¶&RPPXQLW\ &RRUGLQDWHG 5HVSRQVH· SODWIRUP ² VXFFHVVIXOO\WULDOOHGXQGHUWKH3URJUDPPHDQGQRZVHWWREHUROOHGRXWQDWLRQZLGH²VXUYLYRUVRIGRPHVWLFYLROHQFHFDQJHW help from all services as and when required. This platform is run by trained authorities who now see domestic violence as a social rather than private problem. :RPHQ HPHUJH DV D SROLWLFDO FRQVWLWXHQF\ ZLWK LQÁXHQFH Women also hold more seats in parliament. This involved FKDQJLQJOHJLVODWLRQWRFUHDWHDQHQYLURQPHQWZKHUHZRPHQ·VSDUWLFLSDWLRQZDVHQFRXUDJHG,WDOVRLQYROYHGVWUHQJWKHQLQJWKHLU voice as a distinct constituency, and fostering public support for women to gain their fair share of political seats. Raising the agenda of Albanian women sparked unprecedented collaboration amongst UN Agencies, Government institutions, the donor community and civil society across the country. For Albanian women these changes mean their chances to actively participate in economic and public arenas and to lead healthier and more secure lives have increased. They have also brought the country several steps closer to becoming part of the European Union. This booklet captures the key actions and achievements under the Programme, which was active from July 2008 to December 2011. 03

Weaving Equality into all Government Work

Albania has made strong international commitments and passed legislation to realise equality between men and women. The *HQGHU(TXDOLW\LQ6RFLHW\ *(/ DQGWKH0HDVXUHVDJDLQVW9LROHQFHLQ)DPLO\5HODWLRQV /09)5 ODZVSURKLELWGLVFULPLQDWLRQ and violence against women. Still, Albanian women are less likely than men to do paid work and their presence at decisionmaking tables is still limited, especially at the local-level. Meanwhile half of all women say they have experienced violence in the home. The challenge is making the legislation work for women in their day-to-day lives. This involves ensuring government VWUXFWXUHV DQG SHUVRQQHO KDYH WKH QHWZRUNV WRROV DQG VNLOOV WR XSKROG WKH QDWLRQ¡V FRPPLWPHQWV WR JHQGHU HTXDOLW\ ,Q $OEDQLD¡VĂ€UVW1DWLRQDO6WUDWHJ\RQ*HQGHU(TXDOLW\DQG'RPHVWLF9LROHQFH 16*('9 SURYLGHGDURDGPDSIRUKRZ inequality could be tackled. The UN Gender Programme supported the government as it rolled-out this strategy across all levels of government. 04

Making Laws Work for Women The Programme helped government revise key laws from a gender perspective and in-line with European Union requirements. For example, an amendment to the Social Assistance and Services law in 2011 provided priority treatment to women-headed households. In the past mostly men, as SUHVXPHG KRXVHKROG KHDGV KDG UHFHLYHG D 6WDWH EHQHĂ€W IRU families facing economic strife. The revision enabled women to have direct access to this assistance package. Among others, this included women facing divorce, survivors of domestic YLROHQFHDQGWUDIĂ€FNLQJ The Programme also organised training for staff managing the front desks at social services. The aim was to ensure they understood and were able to implement the new legislation. Soon after this, at least in six regions, the new groups of women who had been included as eligible to the aid packages were DOUHDG\EHQHĂ€WLQJIURPLW

Young women get involved with spreading the word during a purple ribbon campaign against domestic violence.

in every line Ministry and all local governing bodies. Under the Programme detailed terms of references were drawn-up for these critical roles. By 2011, two Ministries had formalised a Gender Equality Employee and efforts were continuing to push for more such positions to be adopted. Meanwhile, another key achievement saw leading international UN experts assist the government to legally establish the pivotal National Council of Gender Equality in 2009. Now Albania has

The challenge is making Albania’s strong legislation work for women in their day-to-day lives.

Another major step forward involved completing the needed secondary laws. These enable authorities to effectively apply WKH*(/DQG/09)5LQWKHLUUHVSHFWLYHDUHDV)RUH[DPSOHWKH GEL stipulates the appointment of Gender Equality Employees

an institution that is mandated to propose gender equality policies and advise the government in setting the direction of state policies. It also guarantees that gender is taken into consideration across the work of all government Ministries and departments. It is envisaged the Council will play a pro-active role in coordinating policies such as gender-responsive budgeting DQGWKHFROOHFWLRQRIJHQGHUVSHFLĂ€FGDWDLQHDFK0LQLVWU\

“Albania enforced the laws on gender equality and against domestic violence, improved the social assistance legislation and established institutional mechanisms on gender equality.� Filloreta Kodra, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

“The National Strategy that we developed in cooperation with the United Nations will guide a comprehensive action towards a new and emancipated society, free from violence.� Sali Berisha, the Prime Minister of Albania, 2007.


Strengthening the Capacities of Authorities and the Judiciary The UN Gender Programme also organised training for more than 2,600 authorities and members of the judiciary, enabling them to EHWWHUXQGHUVWDQGDQGXSKROGWKHQDWLRQ¡VFRPPLWPHQWV8VLQJ toolkits and a core cadre of trainers developed by the Programme, RYHUWKUHH\HDUVDVLJQLÀFDQWQXPEHURISROLFHRIÀFHUVKHDOWK workers, judges, prosecutors, government employees, education professionals and local government representatives were all reached. Trainees learnt about the ZLGHU OHJDO IUDPHZRUN DQG WKHLU VSHFLÀF obligations and roles.

The UN Gender Programme also worked with the School of Magistrates. The partnership resulted in revised courses IRU QHZ VWXGHQWV DQG VLWWLQJ MXGJHV WKDW UHà HFWHG $OEDQLD¡V international gender commitments and new national laws. 7KH6FKRRO¡V([HFXWLYH%RDUGDOVRDGRSWHGDFRPSUHKHQVLYH reference guide. The guide covered, for WKHÀUVWWLPHKRZLQWHUQDWLRQDOREOLJDWLRQV and standards should be applied by courts and prosecutors.

On average, Albanian women earn 18% less than their male counterparts.

Equality Starts at Home 6LQFHWKH¡V$OEDQLDKDVUDWLĂ€HGDQXPEHURILPSRUWDQW UN and Council of Europe Conventions, said Professor Arta Mandro-Balili, Head of the Continuous Training Programme at the School of Magistrates. But the CEDAW Convention – regarded by many as the international bill of rights for women – is one of the few Conventions covered comprehensively DFURVVWKH6FKRRO¡VHQWLUHWUDLQLQJFXUULFXOXP7KLVZDVPDGH possible through the UN Gender Programme support. “We want judges and prosecutors to be aware of what is really happening in this country, so we invite NGOs representatives, psychologists, attorneys, physicians and others to present real cases and evidence as part of the training,â€? she said. “This is important because for many women access to justice has a lot of barriers: economic, social and lack of awareness. Often cases of domestic violence or discrimination against women fail to reach the courts. A fair court decision is crucial because it will give other women the courage to come forward,â€? she said. The training course also involves analysing cases of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, DVZHOODV&('$:FDVHV7KLVDSSURDFKDOORZVSDUWLFLSDQWVWRVHHĂ€UVWKDQGKRZDGHFLVLRQLVIRUPXODWHGE\OHDGLQJMXGJHV and how discrimination against women is addressed by these courts. The School also prepared a reference guide covering national and international obligations and standards as well as jurisprudence. As a result, Professor Arta Mandro-Balili said Albania has seen more and more judges using these. “I think the situation of women in Albania has improved because the law has improved. Now the responsibility on the state and institutions has increased. But there is still a lot to be done, especially in terms of implementation. Women who are suffering discrimination or domestic violence need to know their rights and to have the courage to come forward and be better supported when they do,â€? she said. “There is no democracy in a country if you have violence and discrimination in the family. My hope and wish is that there is democracy in the family ...â€?


Evidence Enables Powerful Policies

Ensuring that policy changes were based on evidence was a hallmark of the UN efforts. Developing a Set of National Indicators on gender equality and the status of women was a key achievement in that direction. Undertaking ground-breaking research and analysis was another critical step, which revealed unprecedented insights into the status of Albanian women and policy directions for improving their social and economic opportunities.




academia, international organisations, and researchers with a way of commonly understanding and using gender disaggregated statistics. The Set is also expected to improve WKHLPSDFWRISURJUDPPHVGHDOLQJZLWKZRPHQÂ?VSDUWLFLSDWLRQ in decision-making, education, employment, defence, social welfare, health, media and domestic violence.

international organisations.

The Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Monitoring Gender Equality, led by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, established the Set over a period of two-years. With technical support from the UN, the effort involved careful analysis of the data collection systems that existed in Albania. It also drew on the experiences and expertise of line Ministries,






$ QHZ ,QVWLWXWH RI 6WDWLVWLFV ,167$7  SURJUDPPH ² ZKLFK LQ 2012 was on the verge of being approved by the Albanian 3DUOLDPHQW ² IRUHVHHV WKDW OLQH 0LQLVWULHV ZLOO EH UHTXLUHG to report against the Set. This will entail changing their data FROOHFWLRQV\VWHPVWULJJHULQJDVLJQLÀFDQWMXPSLQGDWDRQWKH status of women.

A new INSTAT programme foresees that line Ministries will be required to report against a Set of National Indicators devised through the Programme.

Revealing the Status of Women National and international UN experts also worked alongside INSTAT staff, academic institutions and civil society to produce several important surveys and reports. These revealed XQSUHFHGHQWHG NQRZOHGJH DERXW $OEDQLDQ ZRPHQ¡V KHDOWK economic opportunities and violence against them. First National Status of Women Report 3URGXFLQJWKHÀUVW1DWLRQDO6WDWXVRI:RPHQ5HSRUWLQ$OEDQLD was a milestone for the UN Programme. The document provided a clear picture of how women and men are positioned in different economic sectors. For example, the report looked into the government-run vocational training programme targeted at PRVWYXOQHUDEOHJURXSVLQ$OEDQLDQVRFLHW\2QHRIWKHÀQGLQJV 08

revealed that the training typically offered to women under this scheme was linked to low paid jobs options compared to the training that targeted men. $OWKRXJKJRYHUQPHQWLVVWLOOGLJHVWLQJPDQ\RIWKHĂ€QGLQJVDQG UHFRPPHQGDWLRQV RI WKH 5HSRUW SUDFWLFDO UHDFWLRQV WR LW DUH expected to arise and transcend into policies and programmes. 7KH5HSRUWZDVDOVRVXFFHVVIXOLQLQĂ XHQFLQJ$OEDQLDÂ?VSXEOLF At the release of the publication and even months thereafter, national media produced stories on different aspects of the JHQGHUGHEDWHUHIHUHQFLQJĂ€QGLQJVRIWKH5HSRUWDQGXVLQJWKH data it contained.

At INSTAT, staff review new information.

First-ever National Surveys Reveal New Insights ,QWKHÀYH\HDUO\'HPRJUDSKLF+HDOWK6XUYH\FRQWDLQHG IRU WKH ÀUVW WLPH DQ DQDO\VLV RI ZRPHQ¡V KHDOWK DQG WKHLU VWDWLVWLFDO FKDUDFWHULVWLFV 7KH ÀUVWHYHU GRPHVWLF YLROHQFH survey was conducted the same year, showing that Albania faced a serious challenge in this area, with one in every two women polled saying they faced abuse in the home.


In 2010, experts again worked with INSTAT, academic institutions and civil society to explore how women and men utilised their WLPH 7KLV VWXG\ UHYHDOHG ZRPHQ VSHQW D VLJQLĂ€FDQW DPRXQW more time than men doing unpaid work such as caring for children, the sick and elderly. It is hoped that the survey will help policy makers and the wider society to understand the value of

Most importantly, the process of producing each of these surveys helped the government to clearly understand the importance of coming up with sector data disaggregated by gender. Doing these surveys alongside leading national and international UN experts also allowed Institute and other government staff and consultants to gain vital expertise for similar efforts in the future.

,QH[SHUWVIRFXVHGRQÀOOLQJWKHYRLGRIQDWLRQDOLQIRUPDWLRQ DURXQG ZRPHQ¡V SDUWLFLSDWLRQ LQ WKH QDWLRQDO ODERXU PDUNHW The study found women typically earn 18% less than men and tend to work in lower-level positions.


Public Budgets that Promote Equal Opportunities Although national budgets may appear to be gender-neutral policy instruments, government expenditures and revenue collection have different impacts on women and men. Gender budget analysis helps governments decide how policies need to be adjusted, and where resources need to be reallocated to promote equal opportunities. Building the statistical system described in the previous VHFWLRQ²ZKLFKZLOOSURYLGHTXDOLW\GDWDDQGDQDO\VLV²LVRIWHQDFULWLFDOÀUVWVWHS7KH81*HQGHU3URJUDPPHDOVRVXSSRUWHGNH\ JRYHUQPHQWRIÀFLDOVWRJDLQH[SRVXUHWRLQWHUQDWLRQDOEHVWSUDFWLFHVLQWKLVDUHD $PLOHVWRQHUHVXOWRIZRUNXQGHUWKH81:RPHQUHJLRQDO*5%SURMHFWDQGWKH81*HQGHU3URJUDPPHLQWKLVDUHDFDPHWRIUXLWLRQ in 2012 when the Council of Ministers approved a decision to integrate gender considerations into the medium-term budgetary programme for 2013-2015. The decision means Ministries must include at least one gender equality objective into their budget. This effectively established the SUDFWLFHRISUHSDULQJEXGJHWVZLWKDJHQGHUSHUVSHFWLYHDFURVVDOO0LQLVWULHV7KH&RXQFLORI0LQLVWHUV¡GHFLVLRQLVH[SHFWHGWRUHVXOW in special programmes that promote equal opportunities in areas such as in agriculture, health, education, and transport. Meanwhile, links created through the Programme between local government and NGOs proved a powerful way of engaging more women to raise their voices and demand that their interests be taken into account during local budgeting and planning processes. For example in Elbasan, 20-30% more women participated in the DQGSDUWLFLSDWRU\EXGJHWF\FOHVLQà XHQFLQJKRZPRQLHV were allocated and securing funds for neighbourhood school and playground projects. 10

A 2012 Council of Minister’s Decision established the practice of preparing budgets with a gender perspective across all Ministries. The Decision is expected to yield special programmes promoting equal opportunities in areas such as agriculture, health, education, and transport.

Women Empowered to Participate in Local Planning In Elbasan, a local NGO worked with the UN Programme DQGWKH0XQLFLSDOLW\WRLQFUHDVHZRPHQ¡VSDUWLFLSDWLRQ in the 2009 participatory budget cycle. This process is a joint collaboration between municipalities and citizens and it allocates funds for neighbourhood projects. Going door-to-door, the NGO encouraged 20-40% more women to get involved in the different meetings. “We PHW DQ KRXU EHIRUH WKH RIĂ€FLDO PHHWLQJV EHJDQÂľ VDLG community leader Mitela Gjoni. “We were a group of women who talked about the actual problems in our neighbourhood and the changes we would like to see in (OEDVDQÂľVKHVDLG During the meetings women raised issues such as heating in schools and lighting on school roads rather than those leading towards stadiums. “Not only men spoke but also women. When women raised certain issues they were respected, which was something SRVLWLYHÂľ0V*MRQLVDLG )RUWKHĂ€UVWWLPHVL[ZRPHQZHUHDOVRHOHFWHG´:KHQ we discussed who would represent the community on WKH ORFDO FRXQFLO ZRPHQ¡V QDPHV ZHUH SXW IRUZDUG without any objection‌ In the past, it would have been GLIĂ€FXOWIRUPHQWRDFFHSWWKDWDZRPDQFRXOGUHSUHVHQW WKHFRPPXQLW\ÂľVKHVDLG The process marked a beginning for women in Elbasan. “I see myself more involved in the future, not just myself but other women and girls who can play an active part LQSXEOLFOLIHÂľ0V*MRQLVDLG

Women from all walks of life participated in the sessions.



Bold Steps offer New Hope to Survivors of Domestic Violence

Traditionally perceived as a private matter between husband and wife, most cases of domestic violence in Albania went unreported. Challenging this view among police, judges, doctors and other social service providers, while also putting in place the means for them to respond, was a key strategy under the UN Gender Programme. As a result, more survivors than ever-before started coming forward. Some areas of the country registered a 10-fold increase in reports of domestic violence and follow-up actions by authorities to help survivors change their situations. By 2011, domestic violence was increasingly seen as an unacceptable social problem and a coordinated response system was being rolled-out nationwide. 12

Half of Albanian women in a recent survey said they had experienced one or more forms of domestic violence.

The Coordinated Community Response Trial Proves Successful From 2009, the UN Gender Programme and its partners, trialled a new way of assisting survivors of domestic violence in Korça, 'XUUHV DQG .DP]D 7KH &RRUGLQDWHG &RPPXQLW\ 5HVSRQVH &&5  3ODWIRUP HQJDJHG NH\ LQGLYLGXDOV DQG DJHQFLHV IURP different sectors. When a victim of domestic violence was LGHQWLÀHG SURIHVVLRQDOV IURP KHDOWK SROLFH OHJDO VRFLDO DQG shelter services came together to provide comprehensive, timely and sensitive support. The UN Gender Programme provided technical assistance to municipalities taking part in the trial. This involved assistance to: draw-up agreements between the sectors involved, and developing guidelines as well as delivering training. A key training focus was on forming a shared understanding among service providers of the anti-domestic violence laws in place and the response roles plus procedures of the respective sectors. Municipalities also set-up and publicised telephone hotlines for survivors of domestic abuse. They also established electronic databases, which enabled authorities from different services to easily share information. Parallel to all these efforts, the UN Gender Programme supported government and NGOs to raise SHRSOH¡VDZDUHQHVVDERXWWKHVHUYLFHVDQGWKHOHJDOUHPHGLHV available to survivors.

LQZHUHDFULWLFDOIRUHUXQQHUWRWKH&&53ODWIRUPV7KH Units identify children and families at risk and refer them to health, education, legal aid and other services. In 2012, CPUs were functioning in 65 municipalities and had assisted 6,000 children and 2,000 families. DOVRVDZ$OEDQLDRSHQWKHGRRUVWRLWVÀUVWJRYHUQPHQWUXQ shelter for domestic violence survivors. The 40-bed facility is compliant with international standards and represented a ÀUVWVWHSWRZDUGVSURYLGLQJVXUYLYRUVDQGWKHLUFKLOGUHQZLWKD much-needed government-funded network of shelters. The UN Programme provided the needed infrastructure, staff training and management tools for the facility to function.

More domestic violence survivors than ever-before have started coming forward. Some areas of the country registered a 10-fold increase in reports and follow-up actions by authorities.

The number of domestic violence cases brought to police jumped from only 94 in 2005 to 2,181 by 2011. This increase VLJQDOOHGJURZLQJSXEOLFDZDUHQHVVDQGFRQÀGHQFHLQWKHQHZ assistance available to survivors. Meanwhile, success in the trial municipalities encouraged RWKHUV WR DGRSW WKH DSSURDFK %\  RI WKH QDWLRQ¡V  municipalities, 17 were using the platform. The successful trial DOVRLQIRUPHGWKH&RXQFLORI0LQLVWHUVGHFLVLRQœRQWKHVHWXS and functioning of the national mechanism for the coordination RI HIIRUWV DQG UHIHUUDO RI GRPHVWLF YLROHQFH FDVHV¡ DSSURYHG in February 2011. This by-law made it mandatory for all local government units (Municipalities and Communes) to set-up the response system, thereby offering coordinated services to survivors nationwide. The UNICEF-supported Child Protection Units (CPUs), set-up


“Most health care providers now have the possibility to participate in trainings and to understand their important role in screening for and treating the consequence of gender-based violence.� – Ramiz Kernaja, Doctor. “Women and children found a secure and calm environment at the shelter, essential to begin a life free from violence.� – Dodona Kaloshi, Director of the Shelter. 13

Frontline Health Care Providers join the Effort ,WLVRIWHQWKHGRFWRUVDQGQXUVHVDWORFDOFOLQLFVZKRDUHWKHÀUVW to encounter survivors of domestic violence. To enable primary health carers to respond effectively, in 2009, the Programme worked with the Ministry of Health to design a Guide for Health Professionals. The guide provided clinics across the country ZLWK WKH ÀUVWHYHU XQLIRUP VHW RI LQIRUPDWLRQ DERXW KRZ WR manage, document and refer domestic violence cases.

7KLV FULWLFDO PDVV RI JUDGXDWHV VLJQLÀFDQWO\ H[SDQGHG knowledge across the health system. It also challenged traditional perception among professionals. With support from the Programme, the Public Health Directorate went on to establish and maintain teams of trainers in all districts. The vast majority of primary health care providers now have on-going access to the training.

Then, in 2010 an accredited course was introduced for frontline doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers. The training focused on identifying people affected, following the correct

The UN Gender Programme has helped over 6,000 professionals from various disciplines to better implement legislation on gender based violence. As a result, survivors are receiving quality and coordinated services.

procedures for treating and referring them, and understanding the wider legal framework guiding national responses to domestic violence. The attached accreditation made the course popular and by 2011 more than 2,300 professionals had successfully completed it.


Famous Albanian actress and women´s advocate, Ms. Margarita Xhepa, addressing participants of the 2010 National Conference on Challenging Gender Stereotypes.

Health Care Professionals Change their Response to Domestic Violence Survivors 5DPL].HUQDMDKDVZRUNHGDVDIDPLO\GRFWRULQ7LUDQHIRU\HDUV´,QWKHEHJLQQLQJ,GLGQRWKDYH any information about how to treat the survivors of domestic violence. For Albanians at that time GRPHVWLFYLROHQFHZDVFRQVLGHUHGDIDPLO\SUREOHPDQGQRWRIWKHLQVWLWXWLRQV,WZDVERWKGLIĂ€FXOWIRU WKHVXUYLYRUVDQGVHUYLFHSURYLGHUVWRGRVRPHWKLQJDERXWLWÂľKHUHFDOOV Through the accredited course rolled-out under the UN Gender Programme and armed with the Guide for health care providers, he was able to gain knowledge and practical skills. Before too long, Mr. Kernaja decided to qualify as a district trainer and share his knowledge with colleagues. “Most health care providers now have the possibility to participate in trainings and to understand their LPSRUWDQWUROHLQVFUHHQLQJIRUDQGWUHDWLQJWKHFRQVHTXHQFHRIJHQGHUEDVHGYLROHQFHÂľKHVDLG ´%RWKVRFLHW\DQGWKHVXUYLYRUVEHQHĂ€WZKHQWKHFRPPXQLW\FDQDGGUHVVWKLVLVVXH%\DGGUHVVLQJLW ZHVXSSRUWWKHPWRVWDUWDQHZOLIHDQGHQVXUHWKHSURWHFWLRQRIKXPDQULJKWVÂľKHVDLG

A medical worker consults with a female client.


Youth parliaments also ran their own quota campaigns designed to return at least 50% female MPs.

Women Emerge as a Political Force


Encouraging Women to Participate Without the support of their families, communities and society as a whole, the majority of women are reluctant to participate in public OLIH&UHDWLQJDQHQYLURQPHQWZKHUHWKH\IHHOFRQÀGHQWWRYRLFH WKHLU FRQFHUQV RIWHQ LQYROYHV OHJLVODWLRQ WKDW IDYRXUV ZRPHQ¡V representation. It also means marshalling a ground-swell of networked support and challenging negative perceptions about women in politics. Legislation and action for a fairer s ociety A key step towards creating a more positive environment for $OEDQLDQZRPHQ¡VSROLWLFDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQZDVWDNHQLQ7KH country introduced legislation to increase the representation of women in all governing and political bodies to at least 30%. The Programme supported this landmark move by providing technical assistance to draft the new legislation.

The percentage of women in parliament rose from 7% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2009. Working with NGOs, the Programme also helped create awareness and support for the quota system across the country. One such action involved setting-up and fostering a network of grassroots and national NGOs. During election periods they SOD\HG WKH YLWDO UROH RI PRQLWRULQJ SROLWLFDO SDUWLHV¡ DGRSWLRQ RI the quotas, and encouraging women to vote, plus identifying and supporting women advocates. Meanwhile, working with Youth Parliaments across the 12 regions, the Programme also reached out to a new generation of voters. Led by young Albanians (14 to 18), a nine-month awareness FDPSDLJQ QDPHG Â?6XSHUZRPHQÂ? JDYH VRPH  Ă€UVW WLPH voters the chance to understand the importance of more women SDUWLFLSDWLQJ LQ WKH FRXQWU\¡V SROLWLFDO OLIH 'RRUWRGRRU YLVLWV public forums, competitions and public service announcements

directly encouraged a further 25,000 young Albanians to: cast their vote, support the new quota for women, and counter widespread family voting practices. Youth Parliaments also ran their own quota campaign designed to return at least 50% female MPs. Yearly elections have so far respected this new quota and in some regions the quota has even been exceeded. In 2011, during the local election period, Youth Parliaments held debate tournaments in all major districts. These focused on gender issues and in particular the participation of women in politics through the quota system. Youth from both rural and urban areas were enthused to research and build solid arguments about gender equality. Challenging negative perceptions With the release of a national perception survey, the UN Gender Programme demonstrated that 73.4% of Albanians were ready to see more women in public life. This watershed report opened-up the public debate around women in politics and set the scene for broader public engagement on the issue, especially through the media. Since 2009 more positive and insightful media coverage around women in politics has emerged. Alongside other organisations, the UN Gender Programme helped make this happen by training MRXUQDOLVWV DQG FUHDWLQJ D EULGJH ² NQRZQ DV WKH )UDPHZRUN FRRSHUDWLRQDJUHHPHQW²EHWZHHQWKH8QLRQRI-RXUQDOLVWVDQG 1*2¡VZRUNLQJRQJHQGHUHTXDOLW\

Since 2009 more positive and insightful media coverage around women in politics has emerged. 17

Strengthening Women’s Voice as a Distinct Constituency 6LQFHZRPHQ¡VYRLFHVKDYHEHFRPHVWURQJHULQ$OEDQLDQ public life. They make-up half the electorate and the idea WKDW WKH\ DUH D VSHFLÀF FRQVWLWXHQF\ ZLWK VSHFLÀF FRQFHUQV has grown. While other organisations focused on women as candidates, empowering women as a political constituency was a key strategy of the UN Gender Programme. In 2008 the UN Gender Programme began this work by mobilising a network of NGOs. They were tasked with supporting women to identify their key policy priorities. The resulting :RPHQ¡V 0DQLIHVWR FDOOHG SDUWLHV¡ DWWHQWLRQ WR IRXU FDUGLQDO GHPDQGV HTXDOLW\ IRU ZRPHQ LQ GHFLVLRQPDNLQJ HQGLQJ YLROHQFHDJDLQVWZRPHQLPSURYLQJWKHLUHFRQRPLFVWDWXVDQG boosting social services, health care and education for women DQG JLUOV7KH SURFHVV RI GHYHORSLQJ DQG GHOLYHULQJ WKLV ÀUVW ever Manifesto signalled the arrival of women as a new political constituency in Albania.

Then, in the lead-up to the nationwide local elections in 2011, the UN Gender Programme created an informal network of 12 NGOs. Using Community Based Scorecards the NGOs worked with women and girls in seven districts (Tirana, Shkodra, KukÍs, Vlora, Gjirokastra, Elbasan, and Korça) to monitor and evaluate how well local representatives were doing in relation to the four Manifesto demands. The scorecard results were presented to local election candidates, who in some cases changed their platform to LQWHJUDWHPRUHZRPHQ¡VSULRULWLHV

A 2008 perception survey opened-up public debate. Over 45% of people felt women faced many obstacles preventing their election.



Albanian Women Emerge as a Political Constituency with Clout 7KH :RPHQ¡V 0DQLIHVWR GHYHORSHG LQ WKH OHDG XS WR WKH 2009 election was a powerful call for parties to sign on DQGUHĂ HFWZRPHQ¡VGHPDQGVLQWKHLUFDPSDLJQSODWIRUPV It also signalled the arrival of women as a new political FRQVWLWXHQF\ZLWKVLJQLĂ€FDQWLQĂ XHQFH ´'XULQJ ORFDO HOHFWLRQV IRU WKH YHU\ Ă€UVW WLPH ZH KDQGHG RYHU WR DOO WKH FDQGLGDWHV WKH SDFNDJH RI ZRPHQÂ?V GHPDQGV7KH\FDPHWROLVWHQWRXVÂľVDLG5H]DUWD6KHVKL 5HSUHVHQWDWLYH RI (OEDVDQ JUDVVURRWV RUJDQLVDWLRQ ,Q WKH Family, for the Family. “Now that they are elected, we will KROGWKHPDFFRXQWDEOHÂľVKHVDLG This landmark document had four cardinal demands: ‡(TXDOSROLWLFDODQGGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSDUWLFLSDWLRQDQG representation ‡(QGLQJYLROHQFHDJDLQVWZRPHQ ‡,PSURYHPHQWRIHFRQRPLFVWDWXV ‡6RFLDOVHUYLFHVKHDOWKFDUHDQGHGXFDWLRQ The Manifesto concluded, “There is no development without equal conditions and equal social, economic and political participation for the Albanian citizens ‌ because progress IRUZRPHQLVSURJUHVVIRU$OEDQLDÂľ


“The UN supported activities have consisted of discussions, meetings and trainings with women in rural areas in order to increase their turn out in elections. This FRQWULEXWHGVLJQLĂ€FDQWO\WRWKHHQGUHVXOWÂľVDLG0V=HQHSH'LEUD'LUHFWRURI1*2 Intellectual Women of Shkodra.


Women’s Agenda Sparks Unprecedented Collaboration

5DLVLQJWKHDJHQGDRI$OEDQLDQZRPHQVSDUNHGXQSUHFHGHQWed collaboration amongst UN Agencies, Government institutions, the donor community and civil society across the country. Mobilising their networks nationally and locally was foreseen as a key strategy of the UN Gender Programme and was central even when the interventions and activities were being devised.


Through the support of the UN Gender Programme, different forums and mechanisms were set-up and improved to ensure information on funding, lessons learned, challenges and progress were shared more systematically among all the actors involved. For instance a donor working group that already existed met more regularly through the UN Gender Programme and resulted in better reporting systems.

‌information on funding, lessons learned, challenges and progress were shared more systematically among all the actors involved. The tight collaboration and coordination was especially effective when it came to undertaking advocacy efforts. For example messages conveyed publicly on the electoral quota, 16 Days RI$FWLYLVPRURQ,QWHUQDWLRQDO:RPHQ¡V'D\ZHUHFOHDUHUDQG PRUHYLVLEOH$OVRWKH(XURSHDQ&RPPLVVLRQ¡VSURJUHVVUHSRUW SDLG VLJQLÀFDQWO\ PRUH DWWHQWLRQ WR JHQGHU DVSHFWV DFURVV $OEDQLD¡VGHYHORSPHQWWKDQNVWRDFRQFHUWHGDGYRFDF\ZRUN The experience and commitment of Albanian Civil Society organisations has been an inspiration and a key asset to the UN Gender Programme. Particularly during the election periods, the UN heavily relied RQWKHRXWUHDFKFDSDFLW\RIJUDVVURRWVZRPHQ¡VRUJDQLVDWLRQV They were instrumental in all awareness raising and social mobilisation efforts. They worked intensively with the media to increase their interest and understanding of critical gender issues. A peer mentoring approach supported by the UN Gender Programme ensured civil society organisations across Albania became involved, including the youth parliaments. Training and tools were developed for them to monitor media coverage of ZRPHQ¡VLVVXHVDQGZRPHQ¡VSDUWLFLSDWLRQRQHOHFWLRQGD\V

“I want to thank the UN for their very good cooperation in what we have achieved so far. I really appreciate the way they made us a partner throughout this process.� – Diamanta Vito, Director of Economic and Strategic Development Policies, Municipality of Elbasan.

On the occasion of the signing of the UN Gender Programme.

Working as One UN In 2007 Albania was selected as one of the eight countries around the world to pilot UN efforts to increase the coherence and effectiveness of its activities at the country level. The One UN Programme committed the Albania UN Country Team to deYHORSRQHEXGJHWDU\IUDPHZRUNWRKDYHRQHRIĂ€FHDQGFRPPRQ services as well as one leader. 7KH-RLQW*HQGHU(TXDOLW\3URJUDPPHKDVEHHQDĂ DJVKLSLQWHUvention. It linked UNIFEM, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA to work in partnership with the government and civil society. The positive results of this approach were recognised in the earOLHVWHYDOXDWLRQVRIWKH3URJUDPPHÂ?VLPSOHPHQWDWLRQ,QD stakeholder interviewed stated that: “the most important aspect of the Programme was the synergy created between implementing partner organisations. Partners have got to know each other and collaborate as one organisation, complementing each othHU¡VZRUNDQGIHHOLQJWKH3URJUDPPHLVWKHLUVÂľ In a later evaluation, less overlap in responding to gender equalLW\DQGZRPHQ¡VKXPDQULJKWVZDVRQHRIWKHĂ€QGLQJV/LNHZLVH LQD3HUFHSWLRQ6XUYH\RIWKH'HOLYHULQJDV2QH3LORWWKH81Â?V work on gender was listed as one of the sectors where the UN 5HIRUPKDVKDGWKHPRVWSRVLWLYHDQGYLVLEOHLPSDFW7KH$OEDnia One UN Programme was renewed in 2011. 21

Durres Mayor, Mr. Vangjush Dako, gives an interview following the launch of the Coordinated Community Response Platform in his Municipality.

Better Coordination yields Better Results for Women The UN Gender Programme is an unprecedented example of how collaboration between UN Agencies FDQ PDNH VLJQLĂ€FDQW VWULGHV WRZDUGV PHHWLQJ WKH FKDOOHQJH RI GRPHVWLF YLROHQFH LQ$OEDQLD 7KH WULDOOLQJRIWKH&RRUGLQDWHG&RPPXQLW\5HVSRQVH3ODWIRUPLQ.RUFD'XUUHVDQG.DP]DVDZGLIIHUHQW UN Agencies (UNDP, UNICEF and the UN Trust Fund Grantees) draw their experiences together and devise the core principles for rolling out the new Platform. This fundamental notion of collaboration, FRRUGLQDWLRQDQGVKDULQJNQRZOHGJHLQWXUQLQĂ XHQFHGKRZ0XQLFLSDOLWLHVUDQWKH3ODWIRUP Durres Mayor, Mr. Vangjush Dako, said: “There was a clear vision that the work should be divided between the state and other partners like NGOs. We believe that with all the actors involved, working together, we can better contribute to all vulnerable groups, especially women ‌ It is important that we VKDUHWKHVHSUDFWLFHVZLWKRWKHUPXQLFLSDOLWLHVDQGFRPPXQHVÂľ Collaboration was also the driving force behind raised national awareness about ending violence against women. Government, academic institutions, and civil society groups joined the multi-agency UN Gender Working Group for 16 Days of Activism over several consecutive years.


A Young Woman Speaks “I think that discussing gender issues is always a challenge ... In order to achieve sustainable peace and development ZHVKRXOGĂ€UVWDFKLHYHJHQGHUHTXDOLW\0DMRULPSURYHPHQWVKDYHEHHQPDGHLQPDQ\SDUWVLQFOXGLQJP\RZQUHJLRQ 1RZDGD\V LW¡V HDVLHU WR VHH ZRPHQ DV DQ HTXDO SDUW RI RXU WRZQ FRPPXQLW\ DV SDUWLFLSDQWV LQ SROLWLFV EXVLQHVV RU different forms of leadership, but attitudes are still a problem. As the road is still long, each of us should raise his or her voice against any kind of gender injustice.â€? – 18 year old Denisa won a debating event organised under the UN Gender Programme to raise awareness about equality. She plans to study Medicine at the University of Tirana.


Next Steps The UN Gender Programme has undoubtedly placed equality as a priority for the Albanian government. A follow-up Government gender and combatting gender-based violence strategy and action plan for 2011-2015 was approved in 2011 with renewed focus and priorities. The UN and its partners will again work with the government, NGOs and civil society to further empower Albanian women, especially in the areas of expanding their economic opportunities and political representation. The new UN Programme of Cooperation 2012-2016 will support the implementation and monitoring of international commitments - for example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) - and national legislation related to gender. It will support the mainstreaming of gender into other legislation, strategies, policies, and budgetary processes at local and national levels. :KLOHDWWKHQDWLRQDOOHYHOWKHTXRWDV\VWHPZDVDVXFFHVVDWWKHORFDOOHYHOLWRQO\LPSURYHGZRPHQ¡VVWDQGLQJVOLJKWO\ For example, by 2011 only 1.4% of local Mayors were women. Likewise, women remain underrepresented in high level jobs in government, civil service and private industry. Seeking to meet these challenges is on the agenda for future UN-supported efforts. Another key aspect will focus on supporting INSTAT to roll-out the new national system for collecting and using gender disaggregated data. 0HDQZKLOHH[SDQGLQJWKH&RRUGLQDWHG&RPPXQLW\5HVSRQVHSODWIRUPWRDOO0XQLFLSDOLWLHVZLOOHQDEOH$OEDQLDWRPDNH VLJQLÀFDQW VWULGHV WRZDUGV UHGXFLQJ GRPHVWLF YLROHQFH$V WKH SODWIRUP ² ZKLFK ZDV VXFFHVVIXOO\ WULDOOHG XQGHU WKH Programme — is rolled-out nationwide, the UN and its partners are collating information about the cost of providing comprehensive, nationwide services to survivors of domestic violence. This will support government and NGOs to better plan their activities going forward.

Members of the UN Country Team in Albania on their way to a UN Day celebration.


2IĂ€FHRIWKH815HVLGHQW&RRUGLQDWRU Skenderbej Street, Gurten Building, 2nd Floor Tirana, Albania Tel: +355 (4) 2250205, 2250224 Fax: +355 (4) 2250286, 2250289 Internet:


Towards equality in Albania  

2012 - The UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality was instrumental in making significant changes for Albanian women and opening-up new possib...

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