Press Release

Albania: UN expert hails women’s inclusion in government, urges action on persons with disabilities

24 November 2022

TIRANA/GENEVA (24 November 2022)

Albania’s efforts to include women in government deserve recognition, but the country can do more to promote the participation of persons with disabilities and rural communities in political, economic and social development, a UN expert said today.

At the end of a 10-day visit to the country, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development Saad Alfarargi, commended efforts by the Albanian Government to ensure women’s participation in governing and decision-making bodies, including the central government and civil service.

“Albania has achieved impressive progress in increasing the role of women in decision-making bodies,” Alfarargi said. “The country is also on its way to achieve a high level of women’s representation at management levels in the corporate sector,” he added.

The Special Rapporteur said he was pleased to hear from civil society organisations that they had been included in discussions leading to the formulation of domestic development policies and legislation.

“I am even more encouraged to learn that the participation of civil society in consultation processes related to the elaboration of national and local strategies and action plans, as well as budgeting, is mandated by several pieces of legislation,” the expert said.

Alfarargi highlighted remaining challenges concerning the inclusion of persons with disabilities in economic, social, political and cultural development, including the widespread lack of accessibility to public services and low representation in governance.

“I am also concerned that, despite the efforts of the government, the development of rural communities is lagging behind, leading to widespread poverty, unemployment and marginalisation of people living in remote and rural areas,” the UN expert said.

The Special Rapporteur’s detailed report on his visit and recommendations will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2023.

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