Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

News Albania goes orange with more than a hundred activities organized during 16 Days of Activism

Date: Monday, December 10, 2018

Around 100 students from marched in Belsh against gender-based violence during the 16 days campaign. Photo credit: UN Women Albania
Around 100 students from marched in Belsh against gender-based violence during the 16 days campaign. Photo credit: UN Women Albania

More than a hundred activities were organized across Albania during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign by UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and government partners.

Office of the President of the Republic of Albania illuminated in orange on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo credit: Office of the President of Albania
Office of the President of the Republic of Albania illuminated in orange on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Office of the President of Albania

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, 5 cities in Albania went orange in support of the “orangetheworld” call of the campaign for a brighter future free of violence against women and girls by UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Office of the President of the Republic in Tirana were illuminated in orange as well. 

The World Bank in Albania illuminated in orange Gjirokastra castle, a UNESCO world heritage city.

The private sector also joined the campaign. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank building was illuminated in orange and the ATMs included messages to end violence against women.

The Embassies of Austria, Sweden, Italy, US, the EU delegation and many local civil society organizations joined the initiative by organizing orange activities.

Roma Women Rights Center representative visiting Roma camp and "Iliria" neighborhood in Shkodra, to inform the community about the services available for women victims of violence. Photo credit: UN Women Albania
Roma Women Rights Center representative visiting Roma camp and "Iliria" neighborhood in Shkodra, to inform the community about the services available for women victims of violence. Photo: UN Women Albania

From 25 November to 10 December, activities were organized in ten different municipalities across the country by civil society organizations that are partnering with UN Women to implement the Regional Programme on Ending Violence against Women in the Western Balkans and Turkey “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”. Around 500 teachers, students, local government officials and community members, mostly in rural areas, participated in awareness raising activities, door to door information sharing, forums and discussions about services available to survivors of gender-based violence. Community-based activities were organized to inform women with disabilities and Roma women and girls. In Belsh near Elbasan, Albania’s third largest city, around 100 students from "Sami Frasheri" high school and “Aleksander Xhuvani” University marched against gender-based violence.

Issues of discrimination and gender-based violence in property relations discussed among representatives of civil organizations, lawyers, and state institutions. Photo credit: Center for Legal Civic Initiatives
Issues of discrimination and gender-based violence in property relations discussed among representatives of civil organizations, lawyers, and state institutions. Photo: Center for Legal Civic Initiatives

On 3 December, a roundtable discussion on economic violence as one of the forms of violence against women and a domestic violence took place in Tirana. It was organized by the Center for Legal Civic Initiatives (CLCI), supported by UN Women, with a specific focus on issues of discrimination and gender-based violence in property relations. Based on the existing legislation and the practices of Albanian institutions regarding issues of family property, the event highlighted the institutional obligations for different ministries and government institutions such as the Ministry of Justice, Immovable Property Registration Offices, Notary, Courts etc. Around 41 representatives of civil organizations, lawyers, and state institutions spoke about the improvement of relevant legislation to establish equal rights to ownership for both spouses and economic rights for both partners.

- Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu uncovering the name of the first service center for victims of sexual violence in Albania. Photo: Photo credit: Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu uncovering the name of the first service center for victims of sexual violence in Albania. Photo: Photo credit: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

On 4 December, the first 24-hour centre providing services for women and girl survivors of sexual violence was opened by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. The report for the most appropriate model for this centre was supported by UN Women with financial contribution of the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana.

According to the most recent data from the reported cases, 74 per cent of survivors of domestic violence in Albania are women. Based on the data from the last nine years, at least one woman is killed every month in Albania due to domestic violence.

For more than 10 years, UN Women in Albania has been supporting the government, the civil society and the local communities in the area of elimination of violence against women and girls, specifically by strengthening the civil society and service providers, raising awareness among communities and supporting the drafting and amendment of legislation, strategies and actions plans.