International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Generation Equality in Albania stands against rape!

Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. until 17 December, numerous events were organized in Albania to raise awareness and galvanize action to end gender-based violence that affects one in two women in the country. As part of the UN System-wide initiatives for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, UN Women in Albania carried out events beyond the 16 days target. The activities ranged from marches and discussions to art exhibitions, sports initiatives, media and public transport campaigns that reached around one million people across the country.

The theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign was “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape!” The theme highlights the need to end the “rape culture”, which is entrenched in our society, whether in situations of conflict, peace, in our homes or on the streets.

The choir of boys and 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 boys and 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

Albania kicked off 16 Days of Activism with a special opening event co-organized by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. The campaign aimed to shift the focus from questioning survivors’ credibility to bringing the perpetrators to justice. 8, 6 percent of women in Albania have been sexually violated, 18, 1 percent have been sexually harassed, and 18, 2 percent have been physically and sexually violated by a non-partner. Since 2018, the LILIUM Center in Tirana, which offers support services for survivors of sexual abuse, has managed 37 cases by offering multi-disciplinary services. Read more.

“What were you wearing” exhibition displayed in “Student City”, the largest student campus in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi
“What were you wearing” exhibition displayed in “Student City”, the largest student campus in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi

 

UN Women in Albania worked on an art installation called “What were you wearing”. The clothes exhibition was built around 20 testimonials of survivors of rape. The event was a replication of the first of such installations developed by Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert and Ms. Jen Brockman in the United States in 2013 and is based on descriptions shared by survivors of what they were wearing when they experienced sexual violence. The installation speaks to a universal experience of victim-blaming and was exhibited at the main student campus in Tirana, “Student City”, and at “Aleksander Xhuvani” University with the support of UN joint programme on Ending Violence Against Women in Albania and funds from the Swedish Government. Read more.

Gentiana Susaj (left), Aikido black belt (Shodan) and certified instructor for Empowerment through Self Defense with a participant during the training. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi
Gentiana Susaj (left), Aikido black belt (Shodan) and certified instructor for Empowerment through Self Defense with a participant during the training. Photo: UN Women Albania/Marsel Dajçi

Around 120 girl students and women from different walks of life and survivors of domestic violence and trafficking received training on self-defense, personal safety, and how to interrupt and de-escalate violence in different forms. Empowerment Through Self Defense methodology (ESD), a set of tools to gain confidence and respond to situations that might be uncomfortable or violent, was combined with Aikido martial art. UN Women in Albania, in partnership with Aikido Albania, the Municipality of Tirana, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and with the support of the Swedish Government organized five different training as part of the 16 Days of Activism. Read more.

Kuboiddy Gallery, a street art experience hosting the artworks of five local young artists. Photo: UN Women/Marsel Dajçi
Kuboiddy Gallery, a street art experience hosting the artworks of five local young artists. Photo: UN Women/Marsel Dajçi

 

A street art exhibition addressing different forms of violence against women and girls was displayed in one of the most frequented areas of the capital, Tirana from 3 to 17 December. The “Kuboiddy” Gallery was a street art experience hosting the artworks of five local young artists and looks at the pervasive issue of violence against women. This art installation served not only as a place to provide visibility of the work of young women artists but also as a space for introspection, reflection and experience. Read more.

Civil society, students and the media march in the main square of the city of Elbasan during International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan / Andi Allko.
Civil society, students and the media march in the main square of the city of Elbasan during International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan / Andi Allko.

 

Young people, and representatives of non-governmental organizations and media, marched at the main square of Elbasan, a city in central Albania on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. They called for the elimination of violence against women as one of the most pervasive human rights violations. Woman Forum Elbasan, together with the Municipality of Elbasan and the Local Educational Office organized the march and the accompanying discussion session. Changemakers from across different sectors of the society, including religious communities, came together to emphasize the value of equality and non-discrimination and to challenge harmful gender stereotypes. These initiatives were supported by the UN Women-EU regional programme on Ending Violence against Women in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Youth participating at the meeting with Mrs. Rosa Logar, former GREVIO expert. Photo credit: UN Women Albania/Kotaro Nakaoka
Youth participating at the meeting with Mrs. Rosa Logar, former GREVIO expert. Photo credit: UN Women Albania/Kotaro Nakaoka

Representatives of Government, parliament, civil society and academia discussed the implementation of international standards in support services to women survivors of violence. The Center for Legal and Civic Initiatives organized the forum, with special guest, Rosa Logar, former GREVIO expert and Executive Director of the Intervention Program against Domestic Violence in Vienna, Austria. Read more.

 

Gender Alliance for Development Center and AWEN network presented the key findings of three-years of monitoring the national gender equality strategy during the 16 days. The monitoring focused on the “Functioning of the referral mechanism of cases against gender-based violence in the municipalities of Tiranë, Durrës, Vlorë, Shkodër, Korçë dhe Elbasan”. The European Commission funded the project, and it was implemented with support from UN Women in the framework of the regional program to end violence against women "Implementing norms, changing minds”.

Students, women and girls with disabilities, LBTI community and Roma women were informed on the signs and impact of gender-based violence, the essential services accessible to survivors, including where they can seek support.

A one-month public transport campaign was carried out in Tirana, and different bus lines screened: 116 117 - the counseling number with messages to prevent and put an end to all forms of violence against women.