Picture in Women Forum’s office Elbasan, Albania saying “Stop violence against women”. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Anna Sundén
The afternoon breeze is hot as we arrive in Kamza area in the outskirts of Tirana. I am in Albania together with Kvinna till Kvinna colleagues to participate in the annual International Human Rights Film Festival. This event brings together human rights activists, students, cineastes, as well as public officials from Albania and abroad. We are here to discuss and reflect on the theme of “violence against women” throughout a few intense days.
We enter a tall, but surprisingly empty building, where our panel discussion on “Violence against women – a men’s issue?” is soon to begin. I see a few men hanging around by the entrance and I invite them to join us. As the panelists start talking I notice that there are both men and women in the audience. A sigh of relief runs through me. The worst case scenario would be that we are here to talk about the role of men – without any men in the audience.
The Albanian team of Kvinna till Kvinna is going through final narrative reports of partner organizations. One of our partners in Vlora, Vatra, is highlighting a decision of the Council of Ministers regarding economic aid to victims of domestic violence, which is very problematic. Please have a look at the decision:
“By Decision of the Council of Ministers, in 2012 the economic aid scheme was expanded by including in it even the victims of domestic violence. In the framework of this decision, victims of domestic violence can benefit the economic aid during the period of validity of the Protection Order or Immediate Protection Order. Victims of violence receive this payment from the Office of Economic Aid and Social Services at the Municipality.”
Approval of the decision was a very positive step for the assistance of victims of domestic violence, but on the other hand, what remains as a problem in the city of Vlora is the fact that this payment is made only to victims with Protection Order who have been living in Vlore not less than 20 years. The rest is excluded from the benefit of such payment.
On 18th of January 2013 Albanian team of Kvinna till Kvinna gathered all partner organizations (PO:s) in a Result Based Management Workshop (RBM) in Tirana, Albania. The workshop was held in the countryside of Tirana, Peza, a peaceful and relaxing area, which helped the participants to be more focused and concentrated on the topic with the aim to have a better result in the end of the day.
The facilitators of the workshop were Silvia Primerano (Field Representative), Renata Cenko ( Programme Officer) and a special guest from SIDA Rezarta Katuci (representative of the Swedish Government). First a short introduction was presented about the agenda of the day, going on with hopes and expectations. And to be more interactive Silvia introduced an exercise: “What do you think about when I say ‘results’?“ Through this exercise it was given a lot of inputs and different meanings like change, improve etc. Later on Rezarta shared a presentation about the Swedish Government experience on using RBM. This presentation was very helpful, clear and highly appreciated from the participants.
Recently we were having the big days for Albania Independence and Liberation days, in 28th and 29th of November. This year the independence day had much more meaning because of the 100th Anniversary of Independence. Historically independence day, November 28, Turkish rule of Albania was ended with the Balkan War, after which a proclamation of independence was made on November 28, 1912.
Liberation Day, November 29, on this day in 1944 at the end of the World War II, liberation from German and Italian troops was proclaimed. Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago, on November 28, 2012 and the government has promised to celebrate it with gusto.
One of the declarations that our prime minister declared was: A mass of 1000 lambs to be slaughtered for the big celebration. After hearing this in news and everywhere in our coffee places, I got inspired to protest with my pencil at least… Here comes in article which I wrote during those days of the celebrations: