Providing access to employment and better income opportunities are among the most effective ways to empower women. Yet, the main challenges for women in Albania remain the persistent gender pay gap, few opportunities in the labor market, lack of skilled entrepreneurs and their access to services and credit.
Women’s average salary is almost 18 per cent lower than men’s in urban areas and twofold lower in rural areas. Women are over-represented in Albania’s informal economy and as unpaid family workers in businesses and on farms. Over 50 per cent of Albanian women work in agriculture – 87 per cent of them in unpaid family jobs – and rural women are not covered by basic social, pension and health services.
UN Women has a long history in supporting Albanian Government to meet many international commitments that support women’s economic empowerment, including the Beijing Platform for Action, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU legislation on gender equality.
In close cooperation with the Government, private sector and civil society our interventions focus on providing access to employment and better income opportunities, which are among the most effective ways to empower women. Therefore, UN Women intervention has been projected at two levels: first, working with the private sector to increase women’s participation in the workforce corporate leadership and distribution networks through Women's Empowerment Principles of UN Global Compact, and second, working with key ministries and institutions to implement women-oriented economic policies and programs.
Since 2011, UN Women Albania has been working with women to strengthen their entrepreneurship skills and enhance their knowledge on business opportunities and credits. The program serves as a promoter of women’s economic empowerment among the private sector and public institutions at central and local level.
UN Women has boosted the capacities of public institutions on designing and implementing policies and strategies for rural women’s economic empowerment, inclusive employment, as well as prevention of violence against women and their trafficking. One critical area of support is also increasing the capacities of institutions in implementing existing legislation on women’s economic and property rights. In the mean time, we have provided them access to nationally generated and disaggregated data and statistics on women’s economic opportunities and constrains.