International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Generation Equality Stands Against Violence: Albania joins the global campaign against Gender-Based Violence

Date: Monday, November 25, 2019

The choir of boys of the Artistic Lyceum singing at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi
The choir of boys of the Artistic Lyceum singing at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi

25 November 2019 – The Ministry of Health and Social Protection, with the support of  the UN agencies in Albania launched the national campaign of 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence. The campaign is part of the global 2030 UNiTE campaign to end violence against women.

Focusing on one of the hardest and most pervasive forms of violence against women and girls, this year’s campaign calls for listening and believing survivors of all types of violence, ending rape culture and putting them at the center of the response. The campaign aims to shift the focus from the questioning of survivors’ credibility to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

According to the 2018 survey of the Institute of Statistics, 1 in 2 women in Albania have experienced at least one form of violence in their lifetime. 8,6 percent of them have been sexually violated, 12.6 percent have been stalked, 18,1 percent have been sexually harassed, and 18,2 percent have been physically and sexually violated from a non-partner.

The choir of girls of the Artistic Lyceum singing at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi
The choir of girls of the Artistic Lyceum singing at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi

Furthermore, based on the latest data from the study made by the Albanian Women Empowerment Network on violence in intimate relationships, 1 in 4 girls of the age 16-19 years have experienced violence from their partner, including sexual abuse.

Since 2018, the LILIUM Center in Tirana, which offers support services for survivors of sexual abuse, has been operational. So far, the Center has managed 37 cases by offering multi-disciplinary services.

During the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the UN agencies in collaboration with civil society organizations and local institutions will organize about 60 activities in 20 municipalities to bring attention to the epidemic of violence against women and girls.

For the first time in Albania, self-protection courses for girls in some schools and universities will be offered as part of the campaign. The exhibition “What were you wearing”, and the Kuboiddy installation will be shown as different art forms based on the testimonies of rape survivors and gender-based violence.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection lighted in orange at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection lighted in orange at the opening of the 16 days of activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi

During the campaign, 9 municipalities, along with local institutions and civil society, will for the first time establish the Coordinated Referral Mechanism for cases of violence against women and girls. 6 other municipalities will reconfirm their commitments in strengthening the inter-institutional cooperation with all local stakeholders to prevent violence against women and girls and raise the efficiency of support to the survivors.

The events for the 16 Days of Activism  include info sessions with students, parents, teachers, local authorities such as the police and municipalities; art and literary competitions among pupils in 15 municipalities, which will deliver messages about their communities through their artworks; awareness marches; meetings to discuss the improvement of the legal framework to protect survivors of sexual abuse and illuminating some institutions’ buildings in orange as a symbol of 16 days campaign.

The campaign is co-organized by UNDP, UN Women and UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Municipality of Tirana, with funds from the Swedish Government and the European Commission.