UN Agencies in Albania kick off 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and call for bold investments to end violence against women and girls.
24 November 2023
Government institutions, international organizations, civil society and citizens advocate to end violence against women and girls under the theme "UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls".
Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, United Nations Agencies are asking for increased long-term, sustainable investments from government, private sector, foundations, and other donors to prevent violence against women and girls.
Almost one in two women in Albania have experienced some form of violence during their lifetime. Eliminating all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spaces by 2030 is a specific target and commitment under the Sustainable Development Goals. Investments in prevention are crucial to reach that target, and to achieve gender equality.
Only 27 countries track and have dedicated budgets for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Albania is one of them: The country has budgetary commitments to implement legislation addressing violence against women. For example, 27 million lek will be spent next year to provide free legal aid to 3,700 women and girls, including survivors of domestic violence. 155 million lek are planned to go to the execution of protection orders in favor of women and children. Yet, the Government must unlock financing from different sectors and use gender-responsive budgeting to resource more interventions to prevent violence against women.
A strong and autonomous feminist movement is also a crucial part of the solution. Women’s rights organizations play a pivotal role in preventing violence, advocating for policy change, and holding governments accountable.
16 Days of Activism in Albania
The Ministry of Health and Social protection and UN Agencies in Albania launched the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” in a ceremony paying tribute to the hard work and lifelong commitment of women and men working every day offering a lifeline for survivors and help them rebuild their lives. Civil society activists, men and women within justice institutions, local support services, and international partners were honored for their contribution and support to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
Minister of Health and Social Protection, Albana Koçiu said: “There is no excuse for violence against women and girls! There wasn't yesterday, there isn't today and there will never be!”
‘While we say out loud No Excuse! to gender-based violence, we also want to recognize the hundreds of activists and professionals that work hard every day to save lives, give back dignity and hope to survivors, and make prevention a priority. Together we can end violence against women and girls’, - said Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, while recognizing the work of law enforcement and the judiciary.
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.
During the 16 Days, hundreds of events will galvanise public’s attention across Albania, calling for an end to the culture of violence against women. From podcasts to sports events, and awareness raising activities in local communities from north to south, the campaign aims to rally collective action to ensure women and girls can live a life free from fear, symbolized by the colour orange. The activities will be organized by civil society organizations, as well as central and local government institutions, supported by international partners.
UN Agencies will support the campaign also under the umbrella of the Joint Program on Eliminating Violence Against Women in Albania, implemented by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA with support from Sweden. They will lead a global social media campaign to speak up against gender-based violence using #NoExcuse and #16Days. on 29 November, UN Women will launch the research “The dark side of digitalization: Technology-facilitated violence against women in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, where data from Albania will be showcased.