Albania is a patriarchal society where men dominate women’s lives. This is especially true in rural areas such as Kallmet. Kallmet is a village located on the side of Vele Mountain between Lezha and Shkodra in northern Albania. Gender related stereotypes and patriarchal beliefs are root causes of gender inequality and domestic violence. These beliefs are deeply ingrained in rural life. As Albania transitions away from these beliefs, there is a growing divide between those who benefit and those who are left behind. Human-trafficking and increasingly severe domestic violence are challenges for women who still suffer from a lack of rights.
Additionally, problems such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination in the workforce, barriers to the education and access to health services, as well insufficient representation in the decision-making process, have been exacerbated. Mary Ward Loreto Women project is trying hard to address the social and developmental issues faced by women in these communities. In addition to trainings regarding women’s rights, gender roles and child rearing, women are now participating in economic activities to improve the financial situation for their families. Women are learning from training and from each other’s experiences. The women recently completed 234 jackets for the school children of IBVM in Spain. This doesn’t address all the women’s needs but the women appreciate such opportunity as a little encouragement for their lives.
Quotes from women:
“Now I have a different life, I get out of my house in the morning and I have objectives for the day”;
“I am learning new skills which are opening new opportunities for my life”.
“I have a better time thanks to my friends with whom I work with”.
This has all been made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners and is highly appreciated by the women benefiting from the projects.