International Women's Rights Day

On March 8, AWEN participated in a protest organized to commemorate International Women's Rights Day and to raise awareness about social injustices and inequalities.

Full statement:

Today, on International Women's Rights Day, we come together to stand against social injustices and inequalities, honoring the historical resistance of women for freedom and rights. The rights we enjoy today have been hard-won through the feminist efforts and resistance of women who fought tirelessly for a better life. However, even today, women's right to life remains under threat.

We, the underrepresented women of Albania, rise up against violence every day. Women from Berat, Dibra, Durrës, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokastra, Gramsh, Kavaja, Kamza, Këlcyra, Korça, Kruja, Kuçova, Kukës, Laçi, Lezha, Libohova, Lushnja, Malësia e Madhe, Mallakastra, Mati, Memaliaj, Permet, Peqin, Pogradec, Puka, Saranda, Shkodra, Skrapar, Tepelena, Tirana, Tropoja, and Vlora - we resist and continue to raise our voices and bodies against violence, from the kitchen to the bedroom, on the streets, at school, at work, within the confines of our fathers' houses, and up to the doors of men.

From last year until this March 8, have been killed Fatmira Bami, Merushe Haziz, Bukurie Bami, Fatima Suli, Mynevere Karabollaj, Kristjana Brakaj, Vitore Pacukun, Valdete Manaj, Jetlira Eleizin, and the tears are still in our midst. They have not dried up for us since the murders of Mevlute Hysa, Hasime Dafku, and Etleva Kurti. Our friends are being taken away from us, even though their murders have been reported to the state, the police, and the courts.

We are tired of living in a society where our girls are not safe, where femicide has spread like gangrene, endangering us everywhere, and where the legal system has failed to protect us. We are tired of living invisible lives, of our social contributions being ignored, and of efforts to silence our anger, our names, our work, and our lives.

Therefore, today, we stand in solidarity, turning our gaze inward, knowing that our existence keeps our households, our state, and society standing. Today, on March 8, we raise our voices in the streets and in front of every state institution, demanding concrete actions for the protection, security, and development of women in Albania.

We request the following from state institutions:

Justice for the murdered women: A review of the criminal justice system for victims of violence. Let's put an end once and for all to the culture of impunity for gender-based crimes.
Femicide should be treated as a national emergency: Ensuring the rule of law functions effectively and imposing the maximum punishment for rapists and murderers of women.
Strengthening support services for survivors of violence: Increasing the number of state shelters, establishing free helplines for reporting, providing free counseling and legal services.
Promotion of gender equality and feminist education: Incorporating special subjects in the school curriculum to prevent violence, raise children's awareness, and challenge stereotypes and gender-based violence.
Monitoring of rights and working conditions: Ensuring equal opportunities and fair wages for women.
Monitoring and addressing hate speech and sexism: Including language addressing hate and sexism in the media and other areas of public discourse in the Criminal Code.
We cannot continue living in a society where we have to demand the basic right to life. We want all women to be alive, thriving, and free to pursue their dreams in a life lived with dignity!


Protection of criminal victims

During the last 6 months, AWEN has been defending 19 victims of criminal offenses in the District Courts. All cases have experienced crimes of gender-based violence against them and their family members.