Issues for Albanian women and problems for systemic change
What does it mean to be a woman in Albania?
If you would read the question in the eyes of a woman it means a lot. I have worked for 10 years in the most problematic areas of Albania and I have met battered women who have forgotten to smile, but manage to survive. I have met women who enhance children with the spirit of a mother full of life, but who have never lived. I have met women who ask for a hand from the state and the state does not make any effort to look at them. I have read the laws on the rights of women; copy-pasted from the best laws taken from Nordic countries, where the woman is the basis of everything worthy of being protected. Here laws are not applied, because here the life of a woman does not count. “There are more than enough women” is an expression that you hear often. In Albania the state considers the woman as a mathematical number, either relative or absolute, just a number. Despite the many sacrifices that woman make today, she must also bear the burdens of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. The abuse of women in Albania is a complex and multidimensional problem, because it includes various forms ranging from humiliation, threats and social isolation to coercive sex and battering. Even though the project is identifying the cases and the state structures have strengthened the law related to this phenomenon, it is still considered a taboo subject especially in the rural communities. This makes it difficult for the women to denounce violence. They lack freedom and need to ask permission to go out. Even when their husbands emigrate for economic purposes, the women have to get permission from them at a distance. This real lack of knowledge and information about their rights as human beings is confused with their obligations according to cultural law. What are the roots of this fact? Is it patriarchal based education? Is it a cultural historical heritage? Or the State just does not care.According to the Albanian Law, the woman has the same equal rights that a man has, but does she really? According to a report on gender gap issues published by the BBC, Albania is ranked 108, near to Arab countries, Nigeria and North Korea. We are the only country in Europe which is marked with an orange sign, which indicates the high percentage of gender inequality. The Women in this country have nothing, just dreams and to dream in such conditions is a privilege and a sacrifice.