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Ensuring women’s economical empowerment; Women’s Entrepreneurship

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Photograhy by Eni Turkeshi

GADC is dedicated to contribute in establishment of a research and advocacy practice to the support and expansion of the social and economic rights of women. During 2010, GADC conducted a research on “Women Labour Rights in Albania”. This study helps to gain better insight into issues that are related to equality between women and men in the labour market and obtain a clear and coherent picture on the situation of women and their social and economic rights with particular focus on labour relations. Based on the main findings of the research study, GADC reached some very important conclusions. Moreover, in view of labour standards implementation and achievement of ‘Decent Work’ agenda objectives, this study expands its advantage by exploring gaps, problems and causes, and based on those, draws a set of recommendations summarized in compliance with the international framework of labour standards.

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Advancing women’s rights in rural areas

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Stimulated by the conviction that there is so much work to be done in rural Albania, that efforts from both approaches are required (top-down and bottom-up), keeping in mind that the given situation of rural women in one particular rural area might be, among others, dependant on the general situation of rural development in that particular territory, IDM and GADC have joined their expertise in both rural development and gender issues to offer recommendations that mainstream gender concerns in the rural development policies of Albania. The need to improve Albanian legislation on land ownership; to increase rural women’s access to the judiciary system; to encourage and facilitate women’s access to soft loans;  to enable concrete financial support to new businesses in rural areas, are only some of the main actions proposed to governmental institutions. Concrete actions have been proposed to civic stakeholders (local NGO-s and donors) as well.

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Empower citizens to monitor local gender agenda

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GADC collaborates with many NGOs at local level, with citizens and local governmental institutions in ten districts to advance gender responsive and pro-poor policies and budgets. Gender-sensitive service delivery, equal participation, prevention of domestic violence, and economic empowerment are key elements of pro-women and gender-sensitive modes of planning and development. While various activities towards addressing these issues are under way in Albania, there are few initiatives which aim at increasing (i) women’s voice and (ii) women’s and men’s equal influence on processes of local governance.  The citizen scorecard approach aims to strengthen citizen’s participation in setting gender-sensitive local agendas and defining local development goals by using the Score Card (SC) approach. The methodology was originally developed by the World Bank and refined by GADC for its application in Albania. GADC uses the SC Approach to assess community’s needs and priorities in a participatory manner in different municipalities.

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Building peace & ending gender-based violence

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Domestic violence (DV) is a problem that happens at all levels and social groups, without difference in race, economic level, geographical area, religion, age, etc. Since DV is a prevalent phenomena in Albania, it is the responsibility of the state and individuals to initiate proper actions to stop it. GADC has addressed the DV issue since its creation through projects targeting victims, violators, public opinion, institutions, etc. One of the latest attempts (2011) to engender change has been the project “Developing a sustainable system for addressing Violence Against Women in Albania”. The goal of this important project is to produce a significant and sustainable imprint in addressing violence against women and girls in Albania by developing a sustainable system for addressing Violence Against Women in Albania, supporting the effective cross-sectoral referral system piloted by Albanian Network against Gender Violence and Trafficking (NAGVaT) in five municipalities: Shkodër, Rrëshen, Berat, Vlorë and, Pogradec.

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Expanding women’s participation in politics and decision making

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In Albania, the issue of women’s role in decision-making remains a national priority among gender equality advocates. Through the years, GADC has been very sensitive to the issue of women’s role in decision-making and politics and has continuously been involved in initiatives and projects related to this concern.  In the lead up to the 2011 local elections, and in the way of improving and continuing community-level dialogue about women as a political constituency, monitoring the application of local level quotas and sanctions as contained in the Electoral Code and working with communities, including youth (in holding decision-makers to account on gender issues and their involvement in political life), GADC implemented the project “Fostering Women Political Empowerment in Rural Areas of Tirana”. The project aimed to raise awareness of women for participating in the election process and of political parties in respecting the quota for women representation in local executive organs and was implemented in one unit municipality and one commune of Tirana District.