Economic Empowerment


Little has been done to address the gender pay gap in Albania and improve women’s access to entrepreneurship services and credit. Women’s average salary is almost 18 per cent lower than men’s in urban areas and doubly lower in rural areas. Women are the majority of agriculture workers – but almost exclusively as unpaid family workers. Women’s labour market participation is low, 49.6 per cent compared to 71.3 per cent for men. Few women are in management. In 2003, only 28 per cent of private enterprises were female owned.

To change this, UN Women in Albania supports policies and initiatives that:

  • improve women’s economic empowerment
  • reduce the gender wage gap
  • address legal changes related to women’s rights in the workplace
  • provide women with better access to credit, children’s care services, social protection and economic aid

UN Women in Action in Albania

Our Economic Empowerment programme supports national gender equality priorities outlined in the Government’s National Strategy for Gender Equality and Reduction of Gender Based Violence (2011-2015), in National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI) 2014-2020, the Business and Investment Strategy (2014-2020) and the ground-breaking National Action Plan for Women’s Entrepreneurship (2014-2020), which was developed following a UN Women policy paper. It advocates for Labour Code amendments and laws that strengthen women’s rights in the workplace and meet the government’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and EU legislation on gender equality.

To ensure women’s economic empowerment, UN Women’s Economic Empowerment programme promotes women’s social inclusion and economic independence and fights gender disparities that lead to poverty.

Putting women at the centre of government economic policies is key to our economic empowerment work. To do this, we provide support to key ministries and institutions to address and implement women-oriented economic policies and programs and promote:

  • strategies and policies for better education and higher employment for women
  • increased support for women in rural areas
  • women’s self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • a favourable environment for women-led businesses
  • data capture to support business development
  • mentoring programmes and business networks for women entrepreneurs in SMEs

To reduce labour market gender segregation, we support initiatives that:

  • develop women and girls’ skills for growing or high productivity sectors
  • reach women excluded from the labour market and lengthy inactivity
  • provide courses in vocational education and training