Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence Programme

What is this programme about

Student in school activity on gender based violence
Awareness raising campaign in school on gender based violence and domestic violence. (Credit: UNDP Albania)

In recent years Albania has improved the status of women and promoted gender equality. However, the country still faces many challenges in terms of fully displaying and utilising the women’s potential in the labour market and economy, increasing participation in decision-making and eradicating the widespread violence against women, particularly in the family realm. In addition, the country still needs to strengthen its legislative and institutional framework pertaining to gender equality and non-discrimination, improve monitoring and accountability of public offices towards women as well as ensure gender mainstreaming in public policies.

The UNDP Gender Equality Programme supports the implementation of appropriate policies and mechanisms that promote human rights and advance women’s empowerment.

The programme works with a wide array of public authorities, civil society organisations, the media and citizens at large in order to improve national capacities on gender issues as well as to increase public demand for human rights and gender equality.

The Gender Equality Programme assists the Albanian lawmakers to improve their monitoring capacities in the implementation of gender equality and human rights legislation. It provides technical assistance to crucial independent institutions such as the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination and the People’s Advocate to enable them to advocate more efficiently for gender equality and elimination of sexual discrimination.

The Programme works closely with citizens, women groups in particular, and encourages public demand for human rights and gender equality. Awareness raising activities with men and women, youth, marginalized groups and communities at large are expected to increase the interaction between public authorities and Albanian citizens. Through the establishment of a scorecard system, women in local communities are enabled to voice their concerns as to the quality of services provided by local governments thus establishing a healthy dialogue with their elected officials.

Continuous support is being provided to the Albanian Government in terms of gender mainstreaming and legislative changes that will make the country fully compliant with international standards. The Programme provides training for judges and prosecutors so that the judiciary improves the understanding and the application of gender equality commitments and guarantee of women’s rights.

Combating gender-based and domestic violence through the Coordinated Community Response against domestic violence remains a priority. This is a referral mechanism that involves the entire community, from local government units to law enforcement agencies, health care providers, judges and prosecutors.

The Gender Equality Programme assists vulnerable women with awareness activities about their economic rights and promotes women’s entrepreneurship.

What have we accomplished so far?

Woman in school talking about gender based violence
Awareness raising campaign in school on gender based violence and domestic violence. (Credit UNDP Albania)
  • The staff of the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination and of the People’s Advocate has now stronger skills in addressing discrimination based on sex, gender identity and sexual orientation
  • The Commissioner for Protection of Discrimination has reached out to women and other vulnerable groups to inform them of their rights and what this new oversight body can do for them. As a result, the Commissioner has received more complaints and she has handled more public or private cases of sexual discrimination than in previous years
  • Civil society organisations have initiated 5 strategic litigation cases and are monitoring court decisions to see how they uphold (or not) women’s human rights
  • Four local government units have signed solemn committment declarations to better respond to the needs of women as a constituency
  • A media monitoring report from the gender equality perspective is finalised
  •  New amendments to the Criminal Code better address gender-based violence and bring Albania closer to the CEDAW
  • Over 200 magistrates and other legal professionals have completed gender equality and domestic violence programmes
  • Ministry of Labour and four municipalities instituted and trained Gender Equality Employees to ensure gender mainstreaming into local and central policies
  • Two municipalities with gender-sensitive local development plans and four more with processes that involve women in public consultations and local decision-making
  • National Shelter for survivors of domestic violence offers recreational and economic opportunities through a rehabilitated and usable gardens
  • Staff of the shelter trained on handling domestic violence cases and exposed to international practices
  • General public more aware of women’s human rights, non-discrimination of LGBTs and mechanisms of protection against discrimination and domestic violence
  • Mapping and analysis of women’s economic empowerment intitatives in Albania finalised.
  • Second national Domestic Violence Survey initiated.
  • In two disctricts, Korça and Durres, the community coordinated response mechanism against domestic violence has managed to expand not only in the center towns but also in the rural settlements

Who Finances it?



Swedish government has contributed to the UN Coherence Fund to support gender equality development work of this Programme

Delivery

Year Total Delivery
2012 US$ 416 000
Programme Overview
Status
Active
Programme duration
January 2012 - December 2013
Geographic Coverage
Nation wide
MDG
3
Programme Officer
Entela Lako
Project Manager
Emira Shkurti
Partners
Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, line ministries, municipalities and other public authorities at the local level, national/local level civil society organizations, media, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF and international organizations working on gender equality issues in Albania.