An anthem against domestic violence in Albania calls on boys and men to stop it.

10 Dec 2013

image Albanian well known singers call to end violence against women.Photo credit:UNDP-Albania

The annual 16 days of activism against gender based violence campaign—from 25 November to 10 December 2013—call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and invites the Albanian society to take action against it.

The Campaign represents an opportunity to raise awareness of gender based violence at the local, regional, and global levels. The 16 days of activism serves as a global platform for sharing the real stories of gender based violence as a way of inspiring change, solidarity and action.

As part of this year’s theme “Orange the World in 16 Days”, in Albania, everybody was invited to wear orange – the official colour of the UNiTE campaign.
The Campaign  was organized under the slogan: Boys and men – part of the solution. Show you are against violence!

The 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Albania were officially launched at Scanderbeg square featuring an artistic orange sculpture placed in the middle of the square.  Hundreds and hundreds of people joined the campaign in many others parts of the country.The Unite campaign ribbon was featured at the event and leaflets and other public information materials regarding the Campaign were handed out to the participants. Activists wearing orange colour and holding orange umbrellas invited passers-by to write and hang orange messages challenging gender-based violence.  The Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, UN representatives also participated at the event.

To conclude the 16 Days of Activism in Albania, hundreds of civil society activities, media and other partners got together in the main square of Tirana to launch an anthem which calls on boys and men to stop violence against women.

Popular Albanian singers as anti-violence ambassadors sang and at the same time gave their messages against violence .Civil society activities  conveyed  messages to raise awareness on the equal role of men and women in society and family.  

The new official statistics reveal an increase in the overall level of violence ever experienced by women in Albania, from 56% in 2007 to 59.4% in 2013, with 53% of women currently living in constant abuse.  Over 80% of abuse begins within the first three years of marriage and much report to have spent years in violent relationships. Indeed, only 8.4% of women try to seek help, although more of them turn to public authorities then they did back in 2007, when they mostly turned to family and friends for assistance. Women with primary education (66.7%), those not working outside home (64.2%), rural women (2 out of 3) and women on maternity leave (3 out of 4) were significantly more at risk of domestic violence. Mothers were also asked of the children’s exposure to domestic violence. Those who admitted that their children were affected by violence (14%) confirmed that in 86.4% of cases children witnessed domestic violence, 42.8% reported the domestic violence caused learning problems for their children, 31.2% reported their children live in fear, 19.2% reported their children were hurt or injured because of domestic violence, and 5.5% reported their children left home to live with relatives because of domestic violence.   

The 16 days of Activism Events, which generated a great public interest were organized by UN Women and UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and civil society organizations.