Tirane, 7 December 2017– The Community Center in Roskovec, lit up orange in solidarity with the National and Global Campaign: 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
The Albanian tailored campaign called: “Orange the World # Hear me Too” is supported by the United Nations in Albania and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, local authorities and civil society.
The campaign continued at local level. The Community Center in Roskovec went orange in the presence hundreds of citizens, Mayor of Roskovec, the UN Resident Coordinator and Head of Swedish International Development Agency.
Roskovec Community center is one among hundreds of iconic monuments, buildings, museums, bridges and other landmarks, lighting up in orange around the world during the 16-days of activism this year.
A special event brought together women and girls, men and boys, representatives of police, civil society organizations-who brought their experiences in fighting domestic violence in Roskovec. Speakers emphasized the role of society to support women, to challenge stereotypes and empower women and girls to be equal members in society.
UN Resident Coordinator Brian Williams underlined: “We all need not only to stand in solidarity with women and girls, survivors of violence, but also to intensify our efforts to find solutions and measures to stop this preventable global scourge with a detrimental impact on women's and girls' lives and health. The UN family is working with our partners to support the Government’s efforts to strengthen legal frameworks and institutions, to improve services for survivors, and to address the root causes of violence by challenging social norms and behaviors and tackling the wider gender inequalities. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence. The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be fulfilled without ending violence against women. Therefore, I take this opportunity to appeal to each and every woman to come forward and raise their voice against violence and let their stories being heard”.
Petra Burcher, Head of Development Cooperation, Sweden Embassy in her speech underlined:” It’s not a luxury to offer and seek protection from violence and prevention services for girls and women. It’s an obligation towards the citizens, it’s the right and the smart thing to do. I commend the municipality of Roskovec for the commitment, dedication and the vision towards ending violence and gender equality. There are bigger municipalities and with much more resources than this municipality and yet have not in place mechanisms to refer and manage cases of violence”.
Participants in the meeting concluded that ending violence against women and girls is not a short-term endeavor. It requires coordinated and sustained efforts from all society. Showing that these efforts yield results is the best tribute to survivors.
A photo exhibition portrayed “domestic violence victims” as seen in the eyes of young people. They “appealed” to society to stop this severe violation of human rights and stand in solidarity with women and girls everywhere.
To kick off the 16 days Campaign, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection convened the National Council on Gender Equality, the highest strategic structure, to show the maximum commitment of the Government of Albania and civil society organizations to cooperate in the fight against violence against women and girls. Supporting specialized multidisciplinary services for victims of sexual violence is the focus of interventions in this area. Minister Manastirlliu, for the first time presented the Model of a One Stop Center that will provide emergency services to victims of sexual violence in Albania. The inter-institutional cooperation and the contribution of civil society are essential to make this model successful.
UN agencies in Albania –UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Women, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) with support from the Government of Sweden, are working with the Albanian government to improve and implement policies and legal framework, develop coordinated multi-disciplinary response and referral mechanisms, and promote public awareness on violence against women.
At the heart of this year’s 16 days of activism lies the theme of ‘leaving no one behind’. This means bringing women and girls as equals into everything that concerns them, and planning solutions to end violence with those who have been previously dismissed, sidelined or excluded.
Orange is one of the official colors of the UN Secretary General UNiTE campaign and in the context of its global advocacy; it is used as a symbol of a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.