16 Days of Activism campaign launched in Albania paying tribute to activists supporting survivors of violence


Activists supporting survivors of violence receive certificates of appreciation. Photo: Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Activists supporting survivors of violence receive certificates of appreciation. Photo: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection and UN Agencies in Albania launched the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” campaign supported by UN Women. The event brought together government and international partners, feminists, women’s rights activists, as well as many others who work every day to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.

The 16 Days of Activism is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs through to the International Human Rights Day marked on 10 December.

Under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls,” the event brought to the limelight the powerful role played by women’s rights activists and women’s rights movements. Ogerta Manastirliu, Albanian Minister of Health and Social Protection, presented certificates of appreciation to activists and service providers who have made a real difference in the lives of survivors of violence and have fundamentally contributed towards the goal of making our society one that is free from all forms of gender-based violence.

“During these 16 days of activism, we will make our voices heard even louder and aim to reach out to every woman in every corner of the country, in order to enable women and girls to have more support. However, our efforts to fight and prevent violence against women and girls go on for 365 days of the year. Women’s empowerment is the keyword – and that is what we should aim for when drafting policies aimed at women and girls. Activism should be the leitmotif of all our lives – an activism in support women and girls in every area of life,” Minister Manastirliu said.

The campaign calls on all governments and partners to show their solidarity and support for women’s rights movements and activists and invites everyone to join the global movement and get involved to end violence against women once and for all.

“As we pay tribute to the activists, today we also stand in solidarity with victims. We stand together to say enough with violence, enough with patriarchy and the toxic masculinity that perpetuates conditions for gender-based violence,” said Fiona McCluney, the UN Resident Coordinator for Albania.

Starting from 25 November, as many as 113 events and activities will be held throughout the country during the 16 days of Activism. They will be organized by civil society organizations, UN Agencies in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social protection and local governments. Special attention will be given to activities aimed at young people, in partnership with the Tirana European Youth Capital team, with a view to involving more boys and girls in addressing the issues of gender-based violence and domestic abuse.

The recently released UNODC and UN Women study shows that, on average, more than five women or girls were killed every hour by someone in their own family in 2021. Of all the women and girls intentionally killed last year, some 56 percent were killed by intimate partners or other family members (45,000 out of 81,000), showing that home is not a safe place for many women and girls. A horrific reminder that violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations worldwide.