Panel Discussion on Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties in Albania

Jul 9, 2014

Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Panel Discussion on Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties in Albania

Dear Deputy Minister of Economy Paskali,
Dear Members of Albanian Parliament, Ms. Xhaçka, Ms. Vokshi,
Dear colleagues of the National Democratic Institute in Albania,
Political parties, civil society, international community representatives,

For many years now, development and human rights practitioners at the UN and around the world have underlined the importance of women’s rights, women’s participation and women’s voice in public decision-making as a human right, but also as a precondition to human development. Political parties and political movements represent essential forums where women’s voices are materialised.

The publication that we are launching today seeks to identify best international practices and examples from 20 countries, from the far east to the far west, from the global north to the south, to help political parties create spaces for women to grow a stronger voice within their party. The recommendations of this Guide also make the case for benefits the political parties may accrue, when they positively invest in strengthening women’s position within their structures. We hope you and your organisations will find this guide useful throughout the electoral cycle.

As the country prepares for local elections next year, we hope that these discussions on women’s role in political organisations will continue and grow - alongside those regarding the quota and the role of women as a constituency; - that they are followed up by specific actions, hopefully inspired by today’s discussions; and that municipalities, communes and local councils better reflect Albania’s population composition. Ultimately, we hope that political parties, as the main political players in the country, open Albania’s door to development by ensuring a more-participatory, democratic, and inclusive decision-making, one that demonstrates particular care to the practical realities of both men and women.

After almost 20 years since Albania’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and in light of the review of the Beijing Platform for Action next year, we should all draw added energy from the commitments reached at the global level as part of these instruments, to significantly increase women’s presence, contribution and voice in the decisions that concern their communities, their families and their lives, in full equality with men.
Thank you.

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