By Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Albania is ranked one of the worst in the world for Women’s Health and Survival by WEF

The Annual Global Gender Gap Report compiled by the World Economic Forum has been released for 2018. With Albania placing at number 34 out of 149 countries, this shows a slight increase from 2017s position of 38.

The report is designed to rank every participating county in terms of the relative gaps between women and men, across four key areas; health, education, economy, and politics. By providing comprehensive sets of data and a clear method for tracking gaps on critical indicators, it allows countries to set priorities within their own economic, cultural and political contexts.

“The equal contribution of women and men in this process of deep economic and societal transformation is critical. More than ever, societies cannot afford to lose out on the skills, ideas and perspectives of half of humanity to realize the promise of a more prosperous and human- centric future that well-governed innovation and technology can bring.”

By reporting on each countries progress each year, the World Economic Forum helps to encourage improvements across the board, but sadly this has not worked in Albania’s case.

Whilst the country ranks at number 34 overall (a 4 place increase from last year) this is due to increases in Political Empowerment rather than other areas. Disappointingly, the country comes 134th for Health and Survival and 91st for Educational Attainment, ranking alongside the brutal regime of Azerbaijan as one of the worst in the world. Whilst the country fared better for Economic Participation, this is still an area where a lot of improvement can be made.

The report also pointed out the lack of legislation mandating equal pay, partial rights to land use, control and ownership and female inheritance, high rates of gender-based violence, and a significant unmet demand for family planning services.

In a year that saw over 4,000 court protection orders, six femicides, and more than 1 in 2 women suffering domestic violence it is clear that more needs to be done to protect female members of Albanian society. Whilst having a high level of employed females with a high level of political empowerment is all very well and good, ranking as the worst country in the world in terms of women’s health is just not acceptable.