Albania joins 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. 16 Days of Activism provides an opportunity to individuals and organizations to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, twenty partner Municipalities, thirteen partner civil society organizations in 12 regions will join UNDP and other UN agencies, state and non-state partners under the world-wide slogan “Orange the World: End violence against women now!
Violence against women and girls is the shadow pandemic which remains a pressing issues in Albanian society, requiring priority attention and action. Deeply rooted patriarchy perpetuates and justifies violence, abuse, and discrimination, creating major obstacles to achieving real equality between men and women, boys, and girls. According to the third 2018 population based national survey on violence against women and girls showed that 52.9% Albanian women have experienced one or more forms of violence; 65.8% of women experienced dating violence during their lifetime. 18,1% of women experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime; 18.2% of women experienced non-partner violence and 12,6% of women have experienced stalking during their lifetime. Furthermore, sexual violence cases remain underreported. Out of 47% of women who reported to have experienced intimate partner domestic violence, only 8.6% experienced sexual violence in their life, while only 1.3% reported non-partner sexual violence.
“No figure can capture the harm caused by violence against women and girls across the world. And yet, a figure can tell us if we are making a dent in this global scourge”– said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, in his address on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“To respond to the present challenges, our UNDP team has been supporting Parliament, the Ministry of Health and Social protection, state institutions to develop and improve legal and policy framework on addressing violence against women tailored also for COVID-19 situation. UNDP’s support has gone towards the functioning of the Coordinated Referral Mechanisms in twenty municipalities, that prevent and handle domestic violence cases, alongside providing integrated support services to sexual violence victims through the one stop LILIUM Center which provides nonstop services to victims of sexual violence. Since opening in late 2018 till at present, 92 sexual violence victims have been supported through multi-disciplinary teams of professionals. The Center sets forth a good model to be replicated in other regions in the country – said Monica Merino, UNDP Albania Resident Representative.
16 days of activism against gender-based violence reminds us all to seek root causes of the shadow pandemic and work together to change gender stereotypes and societal norms, change the narratives and perspectives on the role of women and girls, boys and men in family, community and society and smash the patriarchy.
During these 16 days, and beyond, we call on every woman, man, boy and girl to get involved to help end violence against women and girls once and for all.