Towards Equality in Albania
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Towards Equality in Albania Towards Equality in Albania Document Transcript

  • Towards Equalityin AlbaniaActions and AchievementsSupport to the Implementation of the NationalStrategy for Gender Equality and Eradication ofDomestic Violence (NSGE-DV)Advancing Democratic Governance in Albania (2008-2011)
  • “A society in which gender equality is respected and appreciated, taught, supported and promoted; gender-based violence of any form is not tolerated, but is punished; victims of gender-based violence are supported and protected; and equality in opportunity and treatment is a reality for all women and men.” – The recently adopted National Strategy on Gender Equality, Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence 2011-2015, which builds on the achievements of the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality.Copyright United Nations, Albania, October 2012Published and produced by UN Women for the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equity in AlbaniaSkenderbej Street, Gurten Building, 2nd FloorTirana, AlbaniaTel: +355 (4) 2250205, 2250224Fax: +355 (4) 2250286, 2250289Internet: http://www.un.org.alFor more information, please contact: Estela Bulku, National Programme Coordinator for the UN Joint Programmeon Gender Equality, estela.bulku@unwomen.org.Graphic design: Maria José CillerWriting and editing: Lisa Hiller-Garvey and Macarena Aguilar
  • Towards Equalityin AlbaniaActions and AchievementsSupport to the Implementation of the NationalStrategy for Gender Equality and Eradication ofDomestic Violence (NSGE-DV)Advancing Democratic Governance in Albania (2008-2011) 01
  • Participating UN Agencies: UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF Implementing and Partner Organisations: The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, line Ministries, INSTAT, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Equal Opportunities and Juvenile Issues, the School of Magistrates, municipalities and local authorities, national/local level civil society organisations, media, and international organisations working on gender in Albania.02
  • Albanian WomenWitnessMomentous The UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality was instrumental -Change ing-up new possibilities for them to participate more equally in their society. Working together under the Programme, the government, UN, non-government organisations (NGOs), and civil society helped:Weave action on equality into all government work. This included revising laws, drafting new ones and training authoritiesand the judiciary on how to implement these changes. Work in this area also involved helping the needed institutions to get upand running. This informed national policies andprogrammes aimed at empowering women. It involved establishing a national Set of Indicators that government is now reportingagainst. The Programme also undertook ground-breaking research that shaped policies and revealed the status of women forIntegrate the practice of preparing budgets with a gender perspective across all Ministries. All Ministries are nowobligated to have at least one equality goal in their budgets. This is expected to yield special programmes promoting equalopportunities in areas such as agriculture, health, education, and transport.Foster new hope among survivors of domestic violencehelp from all services as and when required. This platform is run by trained authorities who now see domestic violence as asocial rather than private problem. Women also hold more seats in parliament. This involvedvoice as a distinct constituency, and fostering public support for women to gain their fair share of political seats.Raising the agenda of Albanian women sparked unprecedented collaboration amongst UN Agencies, Governmentinstitutions, the donor community and civil society across the country.For Albanian women these changes mean their chances to actively participate in economic and public arenas and to leadhealthier and more secure lives have increased. They have also brought the country several steps closer to becoming part ofthe European Union.This booklet captures the key actions and achievements under the Programme, which was active from July 2008 toDecember 2011. 03
  • Weaving Equality into all Government Work Albania has made strong international commitments and passed legislation to realise equality between men and women. The and violence against women. Still, Albanian women are less likely than men to do paid work and their presence at decision- making tables is still limited, especially at the local-level. Meanwhile half of all women say they have experienced violence in the home. The challenge is making the legislation work for women in their day-to-day lives. This involves ensuring government inequality could be tackled. The UN Gender Programme supported the government as it rolled-out this strategy across all levels of government.04
  • Making Laws Work for Women Young women get involved with spreading the word during a purple ribbon campaign against domestic violence.The Programme helped government revise key laws from in every line Ministry and all local governing bodies. Under thea gender perspective and in-line with European Union Programme detailed terms of references were drawn-up forrequirements. For example, an amendment to the Social these critical roles. By 2011, two Ministries had formalised aAssistance and Services law in 2011 provided priority treatment Gender Equality Employee and efforts were continuing to pushto women-headed households. In the past mostly men, as for more such positions to be adopted.families facing economic strife. The revision enabled women to Meanwhile, another key achievement saw leading internationalhave direct access to this assistance package. Among others, UN experts assist the government to legally establish the pivotalthis included women facing divorce, survivors of domestic National Council of Gender Equality in 2009. Now Albania has The challenge is making Albania’s strongThe Programme also organised training for staff managing legislation work for women in theirthe front desks at social services. The aim was to ensure theyunderstood and were able to implement the new legislation. day-to-day lives.Soon after this, at least in six regions, the new groups of womenwho had been included as eligible to the aid packages were an institution that is mandated to propose gender equality policies and advise the government in setting the direction of state policies. It also guarantees that gender is taken intoAnother major step forward involved completing the needed consideration across the work of all government Ministries andsecondary laws. These enable authorities to effectively apply departments. It is envisaged the Council will play a pro-active role in coordinating policies such as gender-responsive budgetingGEL stipulates the appointment of Gender Equality Employees“Albania enforced the laws on gender equality and againstdomestic violence, improved the social assistance legisla- “The National Strategy that we developed in cooperation withtion and established institutional mechanisms on gender the United Nations will guide a comprehensive action towards aequality.” Filloreta Kodra, Deputy Minister of the Ministry new and emancipated society, free from violence.”of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Sali Berisha, the Prime Minister of Albania, 2007. 05
  • Strengthening the Capacities of Authorities and the Judiciary The UN Gender Programme also organised training for more than The UN Gender Programme also worked with the School 2,600 authorities and members of the judiciary, enabling them to of Magistrates. The partnership resulted in revised courses toolkits and a core cadre of trainers developed by the Programme, international gender commitments and new national laws. workers, judges, prosecutors, government reference guide. The guide covered, for employees, education professionals and On average, Albanian women local government representatives were all reached. Trainees learnt about the earn 18% less than their male and standards should be applied by courts and prosecutors. counterparts. obligations and roles. Equality Starts at Home UN and Council of Europe Conventions, said Professor Arta Mandro-Balili, Head of the Continuous Training Programme at the School of Magistrates. But the CEDAW Convention – regarded by many as the international bill of rights for women – is one of the few Conventions covered comprehensively possible through the UN Gender Programme support. “We want judges and prosecutors to be aware of what is really happening in this country, so we invite NGOs repre- sentatives, psychologists, attorneys, physicians and others to present real cases and evidence as part of the training,” she said. “This is important because for many women access to justice has a lot of barriers: economic, social and lack of awareness. Often cases of domestic violence or discrimination against women fail to reach the courts. A fair court decision is crucial because it will give other women the courage to come forward,” she said. The training course also involves analysing cases of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, and how discrimination against women is addressed by these courts. The School also prepared a reference guide covering national and international obligations and standards as well as jurisprudence. As a result, Professor Arta Mandro-Balili said Albania has seen more and more judges using these. “I think the situation of women in Albania has improved because the law has improved. Now the responsibility on the state and institutions has increased. But there is still a lot to be done, especially in terms of implementation. Women who are suffering discrimination or domestic violence need to know their rights and to have the courage to come forward and be better supported when they do,” she said. “There is no democracy in a country if you have violence and discrimination in the family. My hope and wish is that there is democracy in the family ...”06
  • Evidence Enables PowerfulPolicies Ensuring that policy changes were based on evidence was a hallmark of the UN efforts. Developing a Set of National Indicators on gender equality and the status of women was a key achievement in that direction. Undertaking ground-breaking research and analysis was another critical step, which revealed unprecedented insights into the status of Albanian women and policy directions for improving their social and economic opportunities. 07
  • Set of National Gender Indicators Established relevant government agencies, NGOs, academics and academia, international organisations, and researchers international organisations. with a way of commonly understanding and using gender disaggregated statistics. The Set is also expected to improve 2012 was on the verge of being approved by the Albanian in decision-making, education, employment, defence, social welfare, health, media and domestic violence. to report against the Set. This will entail changing their data The Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Monitoring Gender status of women. Equality, led by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, established the Set over a period of two-years. A new INSTAT programme foresees that line With technical support from the UN, the effort involved careful Ministries will be required to report against a analysis of the data collection systems that existed in Albania. It also drew on the experiences and expertise of line Ministries, Set of National Indicators devised through the Programme. Revealing the Status of Women National and international UN experts also worked alongside revealed that the training typically offered to women under this INSTAT staff, academic institutions and civil society to produce scheme was linked to low paid jobs options compared to the several important surveys and reports. These revealed training that targeted men. economic opportunities and violence against them. First National Status of Women Report expected to arise and transcend into policies and programmes. was a milestone for the UN Programme. The document provided a clear picture of how women and men are positioned in At the release of the publication and even months thereafter, different economic sectors. For example, the report looked into national media produced stories on different aspects of the the government-run vocational training programme targeted at data it contained.08
  • At INSTAT, staff review new information.First-ever National Surveys Reveal New Insightssurvey was conducted the same year, showing that Albaniafaced a serious challenge in this area, with one in every two The study found women typically earn 18% less than men andwomen polled saying they faced abuse in the home. tend to work in lower-level positions.In 2010, experts again worked with INSTAT, academic institutions Most importantly, the process of producing each of these surveysand civil society to explore how women and men utilised their helped the government to clearly understand the importance of coming up with sector data disaggregated by gender. Doingmore time than men doing unpaid work such as caring for these surveys alongside leading national and international UNchildren, the sick and elderly. It is hoped that the survey will help experts also allowed Institute and other government staff andpolicy makers and the wider society to understand the value of consultants to gain vital expertise for similar efforts in the future. 09
  • Public Budgets that Promote Equal Opportunities Although national budgets may appear to be gender-neutral policy instruments, government expenditures and revenue collection have different impacts on women and men. Gender budget analysis helps governments decide how policies need to be adjusted, and where resources need to be reallocated to promote equal opportunities. Building the statistical system described in the previous in 2012 when the Council of Ministers approved a decision to integrate gender considerations into the medium-term budgetary programme for 2013-2015. The decision means Ministries must include at least one gender equality objective into their budget. This effectively established the in special programmes that promote equal opportunities in areas such as in agriculture, health, education, and transport. A 2012 Council of Minister’s Decision Meanwhile, links created through the Programme between local established the practice of preparing government and NGOs proved a powerful way of engaging more budgets with a gender perspective across all women to raise their voices and demand that their interests be Ministries. The Decision is expected to yield taken into account during local budgeting and planning processes. For example in Elbasan, 20-30% more women participated in the special programmes promoting equal oppor- tunities in areas such as agriculture, health, were allocated and securing funds for neighbourhood school and education, and transport. playground projects.10
  • Women Empowered toParticipate in Local PlanningIn Elbasan, a local NGO worked with the UN Programmein the 2009 participatory budget cycle. This process isa joint collaboration between municipalities and citizensand it allocates funds for neighbourhood projects.Going door-to-door, the NGO encouraged 20-40% morewomen to get involved in the different meetings. “Wecommunity leader Mitela Gjoni. “We were a group ofwomen who talked about the actual problems in ourneighbourhood and the changes we would like to see inDuring the meetings women raised issues such asheating in schools and lighting on school roads ratherthan those leading towards stadiums. “Not only menspoke but also women. When women raised certainissues they were respected, which was somethingwe discussed who would represent the community onwithout any objection… In the past, it would have beenThe process marked a beginning for women in Elbasan.“I see myself more involved in the future, not just myselfbut other women and girls who can play an active part Women from all walks of life participated in the sessions. 11
  • of activism against gender violence. Bold Steps offer New Hope to Survivors of Domestic Violence Traditionally perceived as a private matter between husband and wife, most cases of domestic violence in Albania went unreported. Challenging this view among police, judges, doctors and other social service providers, while also putting in place the means for them to respond, was a key strategy under the UN Gender Programme. As a result, more survivors than ever-before started coming forward. Some areas of the country registered a 10-fold increase in reports of domestic violence and follow-up actions by authorities to help survivors change their situations. By 2011, Half of Albanian women in a recent survey domestic violence was increasingly seen as an unacceptable said they had experienced one or more forms social problem and a coordinated response system was being of domestic violence. rolled-out nationwide.12
  • The Coordinated Community ResponseTrial Proves SuccessfulFrom 2009, the UN Gender Programme and its partners, trialleda new way of assisting survivors of domestic violence in Korça, Units identify children and families at risk and refer them to health, education, legal aid and other services. In 2012, CPUs were functioning in 65 municipalities and had assisted 6,000different sectors. When a victim of domestic violence was children and 2,000 families.shelter services came together to provide comprehensive,timely and sensitive support. shelter for domestic violence survivors. The 40-bed facility is compliant with international standards and represented aThe UN Gender Programme provided technical assistance tomunicipalities taking part in the trial. This involved assistance much-needed government-funded network of shelters. The UNto: draw-up agreements between the sectors involved, and Programme provided the needed infrastructure, staff trainingdeveloping guidelines as well as delivering training. A key and management tools for the facility to function.training focus was on forming a shared understanding amongservice providers of the anti-domestic violence laws in place More domestic violence survivors thanand the response roles plus procedures of the respective ever-before have started coming forward.sectors. Some areas of the country registered a 10-foldMunicipalities also set-up and publicised telephone hotlines for increase in reports and follow-up actions bysurvivors of domestic abuse. They also established electronic authorities.databases, which enabled authorities from different services toeasily share information. Parallel to all these efforts, the UNGender Programme supported government and NGOs to raiseavailable to survivors.The number of domestic violence cases brought to policejumped from only 94 in 2005 to 2,181 by 2011. This increaseassistance available to survivors.Meanwhile, success in the trial municipalities encouragedmunicipalities, 17 were using the platform. The successful trialand functioning of the national mechanism for the coordination “Most health care providers now have the possibility to participate in trainings and to understand their importantin February 2011. This by-law made it mandatory for all local role in screening for and treating the consequence ofgovernment units (Municipalities and Communes) to set-up gender-based violence.” – Ramiz Kernaja, Doctor.the response system, thereby offering coordinated services tosurvivors nationwide. “Women and children found a secure and calm environment at the shelter, essential to begin a life free from violence.”The UNICEF-supported Child Protection Units (CPUs), set-up – Dodona Kaloshi, Director of the Shelter. 13
  • Frontline Health Care Providers join the Effort to encounter survivors of domestic violence. To enable primary knowledge across the health system. It also challenged health carers to respond effectively, in 2009, the Programme traditional perception among professionals. With support from worked with the Ministry of Health to design a Guide for Health the Programme, the Public Health Directorate went on to Professionals. The guide provided clinics across the country establish and maintain teams of trainers in all districts. The vast majority of primary health care providers now have on-going manage, document and refer domestic violence cases. access to the training. Then, in 2010 an accredited course was introduced for frontline doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers. The training The UN Gender Programme has helped over focused on identifying people affected, following the correct 6,000 professionals from various disciplines procedures for treating and referring them, and understanding to better implement legislation on gender the wider legal framework guiding national responses to domestic violence. The attached accreditation made the based violence. As a result, survivors are course popular and by 2011 more than 2,300 professionals had receiving quality and coordinated services. successfully completed it. Famous Albanian actress and women´s advocate, Ms. Margarita Xhepa, addressing participants of the 2010 National Conference on14 Challenging Gender Stereotypes.
  • Health Care Professionals Change their Response to Domestic Violence Survivors any information about how to treat the survivors of domestic violence. For Albanians at that time Through the accredited course rolled-out under the UN Gender Programme and armed with the Guide for health care providers, he was able to gain knowledge and practical skills. Before too long, Mr. Kernaja decided to qualify as a district trainer and share his knowledge with colleagues. “Most health care providers now have the possibility to participate in trainings and to understand theirA medical worker consults with a female client. 15
  • Youth parliaments also ran their own quota campaigns designed to return at least 50% female MPs. Women Emerge as a Political Force concerns that out-dated ideas were holding half the electorate back from expressing their priorities. The UN Gender Programme supported Albania to tackle this challenge on several fronts. The work included: changing legislation to and fostering public support for women to gain their fair share of political seats. This concerted strategy made an impressive impact. -16
  • Encouraging Women to ParticipateWithout the support of their families, communities and society as a directly encouraged a further 25,000 young Albanians to: castwhole, the majority of women are reluctant to participate in public their vote, support the new quota for women, and counter widespread family voting practices.representation. It also means marshalling a ground-swell of Youth Parliaments also ran their own quota campaign designednetworked support and challenging negative perceptions about to return at least 50% female MPs. Yearly elections have so farwomen in politics. respected this new quota and in some regions the quota has even been exceeded.Legislation and action for a fairer s ocietyA key step towards creating a more positive environment for In 2011, during the local election period, Youth Parliaments held debate tournaments in all major districts. These focusedcountry introduced legislation to increase the representation on gender issues and in particular the participation of womenof women in all governing and political bodies to at least 30%. in politics through the quota system. Youth from both rural andThe Programme supported this landmark move by providing urban areas were enthused to research and build solid argumentstechnical assistance to draft the new legislation. about gender equality.The percentage of women in parliament rose Challenging negative perceptionsfrom 7% in 2005 to 16.5% in 2009. With the release of a national perception survey, the UN Gender Programme demonstrated that 73.4% of AlbaniansWorking with NGOs, the Programme also helped create were ready to see more women in public life. This watershedawareness and support for the quota system across the country. report opened-up the public debate around women in politicsOne such action involved setting-up and fostering a network and set the scene for broader public engagement on the issue,of grassroots and national NGOs. During election periods they especially through the media.the quotas, and encouraging women to vote, plus identifying and Since 2009 more positive and insightful media coverage aroundsupporting women advocates. women in politics has emerged. Alongside other organisations, the UN Gender Programme helped make this happen by trainingMeanwhile, working with Youth Parliaments across the 12 regions,the Programme also reached out to a new generation of voters.Led by young Albanians (14 to 18), a nine-month awarenessvoters the chance to understand the importance of more women Since 2009 more positive and insightful media coverage around women in politics has emerged.public forums, competitions and public service announcements 17
  • Strengthening Women’s Voice as a Distinct Constituency Then, in the lead-up to the nationwide local elections in 2011, public life. They make-up half the electorate and the idea the UN Gender Programme created an informal network of 12 NGOs. Using Community Based Scorecards the NGOs worked has grown. While other organisations focused on women as with women and girls in seven districts (Tirana, Shkodra, Kukës, candidates, empowering women as a political constituency was Vlora, Gjirokastra, Elbasan, and Korça) to monitor and evaluate a key strategy of the UN Gender Programme. how well local representatives were doing in relation to the four Manifesto demands. In 2008 the UN Gender Programme began this work by mo- bilising a network of NGOs. They were tasked with suppor- The scorecard results were presented to local election ting women to identify their key policy priorities. The resulting candidates, who in some cases changed their platform to boosting social services, health care and education for women A 2008 perception survey opened-up public debate. Over 45% of people felt women faced ever Manifesto signalled the arrival of women as a new political many obstacles preventing their election. constituency in Albania.18
  • Albanian Women Emerge as a Political Constituency with Clout 2009 election was a powerful call for parties to sign on It also signalled the arrival of women as a new political Family, for the Family. “Now that they are elected, we will This landmark document had four cardinal demands: representation The Manifesto concluded, “There is no development without equal conditions and equal social, economic and political participation for the Albanian citizens … because progress“The UN supported activities have consisted of discussions, meetings and trainingswith women in rural areas in order to increase their turn out in elections. ThisIntellectual Women of Shkodra. 19
  • Women’s Agenda Sparks Unprecedented Collaboration ed collaboration amongst UN Agencies, Government institu- - tions, the donor community and civil society across the country. Mobilising their networks nationally and locally was foreseen as a key strategy of the UN Gender Programme and was central even when the interventions and activities were being devised.20
  • Through the support of the UN Gender Programme, differentforums and mechanisms were set-up and improved to ensureinformation on funding, lessons learned, challenges and prog-ress were shared more systematically among all the actors in-volved. For instance a donor working group that already existedmet more regularly through the UN Gender Programme andresulted in better reporting systems.…information on funding, lessons learned,challenges and progress were shared moresystematically among all the actors involved.The tight collaboration and coordination was especially effectivewhen it came to undertaking advocacy efforts. For examplemessages conveyed publicly on the electoral quota, 16 Days On the occasion of the signing of the UN Gender Programme. Working as One UNThe experience and commitment of Albanian Civil Society In 2007 Albania was selected as one of the eight countriesorganisations has been an inspiration and a key asset to the around the world to pilot UN efforts to increase the coherenceUN Gender Programme. and effectiveness of its activities at the country level. The One UN Programme committed the Albania UN Country Team to de-Particularly during the election periods, the UN heavily relied services as well as one leader.They were instrumental in all awareness raising and socialmobilisation efforts. They worked intensively with the media -to increase their interest and understanding of critical gender vention. It linked UNIFEM, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA to workissues. in partnership with the government and civil society.A peer mentoring approach supported by the UN Gender The positive results of this approach were recognised in the ear-Programme ensured civil society organisations across Albaniabecame involved, including the youth parliaments. Training and stakeholder interviewed stated that: “the most important aspecttools were developed for them to monitor media coverage of of the Programme was the synergy created between implement- ing partner organisations. Partners have got to know each other and collaborate as one organisation, complementing each oth- “I want to thank the UN for their very good cooperation in what we have achieved so far. I really appreciate the way In a later evaluation, less overlap in responding to gender equal- they made us a partner throughout this process.” – Dia- manta Vito, Director of Economic and Strategic Develop- ment Policies, Municipality of Elbasan. work on gender was listed as one of the sectors where the UN - nia One UN Programme was renewed in 2011. 21
  • Durres Mayor, Mr. Vangjush Dako, gives an interview following the launch of the Coordinated Community Response Platform in his Municipality. Better Coordination yields Better Results for Women The UN Gender Programme is an unprecedented example of how collaboration between UN Agencies UN Agencies (UNDP, UNICEF and the UN Trust Fund Grantees) draw their experiences together and devise the core principles for rolling out the new Platform. This fundamental notion of collaboration, Durres Mayor, Mr. Vangjush Dako, said: “There was a clear vision that the work should be divided between the state and other partners like NGOs. We believe that with all the actors involved, working together, we can better contribute to all vulnerable groups, especially women … It is important that we Collaboration was also the driving force behind raised national awareness about ending violence against women. Government, academic institutions, and civil society groups joined the multi-agency UN Gender Working Group for 16 Days of Activism over several consecutive years.22
  • A Young Woman Speaks“I think that discussing gender issues is always a challenge ... In order to achieve sustainable peace and developmentdifferent forms of leadership, but attitudes are still a problem. As the road is still long, each of us should raise his or hervoice against any kind of gender injustice.” – 18 year old Denisa won a debating event organised under the UN GenderProgramme to raise awareness about equality. She plans to study Medicine at the University of Tirana. 23
  • Next Steps The UN Gender Programme has undoubtedly placed equality as a priority for the Albanian government. A follow-up Government gender and combatting gender-based violence strategy and action plan for 2011-2015 was approved in 2011 with renewed focus and priorities. The UN and its partners will again work with the government, NGOs and civil society to further empower Albanian women, especially in the areas of expanding their economic opportunities and political representation. The new UN Programme of Cooperation 2012-2016 will support the implementation and monitoring of international commitments - for example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) - and national legislation related to gender. It will support the mainstreaming of gender into other legislation, strategies, policies, and budgetary processes at local and national levels. For example, by 2011 only 1.4% of local Mayors were women. Likewise, women remain underrepresented in high level jobs in government, civil service and private industry. Seeking to meet these challenges is on the agenda for future UN-supported efforts. Another key aspect will focus on supporting INSTAT to roll-out the new national system for collecting and using gender disaggregated data. Programme — is rolled-out nationwide, the UN and its partners are collating information about the cost of providing comprehensive, nationwide services to survivors of domestic violence. This will support government and NGOs to better plan their activities going forward. Members of the UN Country Team in Albania on their way to a UN Day celebration.24
  • Skenderbej Street, Gurten Building, 2nd Floor Tirana, Albania Tel: +355 (4) 2250205, 2250224 Fax: +355 (4) 2250286, 2250289 Internet: http://www.un.org.al 03