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Closure Event of the project “Women empowerment: Building capacities to improve access economic opportunities with a special focus to victims of Domestic Violence”

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closingTirana, October 3rd 2013 – Gender Alliance for Development Centre and Counseling Line for Girls and Women, during a period of 18 months (February 2012 – July 2013) implemented the project "Women empowerment: Building capacities to improve access economic opportunities with a special focus to victims of Domestic Violence" in Shkodra, Lac, Milot, Lezha, Puka, Ulez and Burrel regions, in close partnership with local institutions and women of these areas, financed by EU in the frame of EIHDR instrument.

In a society where the word emancipation should not be seen only as a slogan or facade, we cannot talk about women's rights if they do not have the economic opportunities to become independent and free themselves from the abusive relationships in which they are entrapped.

"Economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development of a society, and at the same time is an issue of equal rights. Economic empowerment of women is not easy and it does not happen overnight, but requires public policies based on international best practices and long-term engagement primarily by state institutions in collaboration with all other stakeholders, "- said Mirela Arqimandriti, Executive director of GADC.

HE. Ettore Sequi, Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation to Albania said that, "Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the European Union and therefore remains a priority task for Albania. The European Union encourages Albania to step up efforts to promote women's rights in the workplace and respect for the rights of women in all fields. "

In this activity Z. Erion Veliaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, stressed that "the Albanian government is fully committed and has a plan with concrete steps in the fight against domestic violence and empowerment of women, not only as one of the basic requirements for EU integration, but also as one of the biggest challenges ahead for the new government with more women than ever in governance, a very positive sign that demonstrates commitment to the cause of women's rights in Albania".

As director of the Counseling Line, Ms. Iris LUARASI stressed that "In a masculine society as ours where the number of women killed increases from year to year, it is time that all of us play an active role. First of all, this requires aware and empowered women that do not stay silent, but say stop to the violence they have been suffering for years".

Mr. Albi Greva, Executive Director of the Vodafone Foundation Albania stressed that businesses should enhance social accountability and pay careful attention to employing vulnerable groups, especially among girls and women. Ms. Adelina Farrici, Mayor of Burrel Municipality also attended the event, sharing with the participants the main challenges of women empowerment in her municipality.

During the project timeframe, 40 trainings with 419 girls and women on domestic violence and women labor rights were organized, 6 baseline reports were produced, several awareness raising events were organized, 19 women were employed though direct assistance and mediation with employers, and a manual for high school teachers on gender equality and intimate partner violence was adapted and translated.