On Human Rights Day, actors call for coordinated actions to end violence against womenDec 10, 2015
On Human Rights Day, actors call for coordinated actions to give an end to the violence against women.
Tirane, 10 December 2015: The Human Rights Day was marked in Albania with a national conference called: “Together for gender equality and fight against domestic violence”. The event brought together senior governmental officials, representatives from local government units, members of the community coordinated response mechanisms, civil society, academia, representatives of international organizations, UN and young people.
In their speeches, participants highlighted the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the fight against domestic violence including the drafting of new policies and laws, assistance provided to survivors and to efforts put in place to build a society free from violence.
. During recent years, the participation of women and girls in decision-making has consistently improved. This is illustrated by the increased number of women in elected and executive positions. The proportion of women in Parliament has increased from 6% in 2001 to 20, 7% in 2014 thanks to the institution of a 30% quota in general elections. With the introduction of 50% of the gender quota in the 2015 local elections, the representation of women in local municipal councils grew from 12, 2% in 2011 to 35% in 2015.
With the support of the UN, the Government of Albania has boosted its efforts to set up and empower local structures which deal with gender equality and violence against women. As such, local mechanisms for coordinated community response against violence have been established in 27 municipalities offering services to victims of domestic violence.
A new online tool to track domestic violence cases across the country has proved to be instrumental to closely monitor implementation of gender-based violence legislation, and intervene when improvements are needed.
Since the establishment of the online data-base system in 2013, a total 1,059 domestic violence cases have been registered and followed up by members for the coordinated community response mechanisms.
In light of the new administrative and territorial reform, Albanian authorities are increasing their efforts to consolidate these systems in every community, utilizing the lessons learned by the UN-supported models in 27 municipalities and setting a positive example for the other countries in South-east European region.
Participants at the Conference highlighted the need to improve inter-institutional and multi-agency cooperation and coordination to better implement relevant gender based and domestic violence legislation; to allocate resources for continuous capacity building, adequate staffing, public awareness and provision of a comprehensive package of services to victims of domestic violence to ensure their safety, protection and long-term rehabilitation and integration in mainstream society and capitalize on best practices and lessons learnt from existing mechanisms.
Participants concluded that gender equality in local governance goes hand in hand with more democracy, transparency and accountability in all involved institutions.
“Now it is a crucial time to advocate to ensure that violence against women and girls is high on Albanian political and public agendas, prominently placed within the new global development framework, and prioritized in its implementation at both local and central level”-said the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth who adressed the event.
Other cabinet Ministers present at the event, expressed their commitment to spare no efforts in the fight agains domestic violence which they considerde the most severe violations of human rights.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, and UNDP in the framework of the Gender Equality Programme which is financially supported by the Swedish Government.