Mary Ward Loreto Women project in Tropoje operates in three areas; Raja, Dushaj and Cernicë. These areas account for a total of 90 women, whose participation varies by activity. The dynamics of these groups are different, and so are the interests, perceptions, and situations in which they find themselves. As a group the women’s strengths are:
1. An ability to adapt and to function as a group.
2. A desire for active participation and engagement at work.
3. Being open. These women are strong and ready to change and become empowered for their own sake and for their family.
With all the problems in the area of Tropoje, the major ones are social, these constitute the vital roots in a painful history. The force of tradition and mentality wants the boy to be given all the privileges as it is the boy who will inherit the family name, while the girl child is “crushed” until she has found a husband chosen by her parents. For generations this has been the fate of many girls and women who do not choose, but are resolved, and have to “live only for honor’’. She is the eldest child of the family and as such did not ever have attention and affection, just for the fact that she was not born as a son. At an early age, the family found the “ideal partner” and unwillingly she was betrothed to him. The Psycho-social situation was very difficult for the girl, which itself held all the drama of an unwanted election. In these patriarchal families the roles are incontrovertible. The contacts are scarce and cold, with the partner who has been selected. The girl is forced to live a relationship that exists solely for the spirit of our customs and traditions. The lack of attachment to the person, the lack of communication and ignorance brings other troubles, and this is maintained throughout her life. This relationship can be terminated as finality. It can happen without explanation, in silence. For the first time the mentality of being “silent” can seem like being forever happy. But can she claim her own freedom back, to breathe, to elect and not be elected…?