From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Albania One of World’s Best Performers in Closing Gender Gap

Albania has ranked number 20 out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

Beating the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and all of its immediate Balkan neighbours, Albania scored a 0.769 out of a possible 1. While it did fall six places from 2018, this was due to increased scores of other countries, not a drop in Albania’s score which actually registered a small increase over the previous 12 months.

According to the report, Albania is one of the top five most-improved countries in the overall index this year, alongside Spain, Ethiopia, Mali and Mexico- all of which closed their gaps by 3.4 percentage points or more. This, says the report, is indicative of a substantial increase in women’s presence in political institutions. 

The Index looks at women’s inclusion in society over a number of subindexes. For Economic participation and opportunity, it ranks well at number 36, and for Educational attainment, it sits comfortably at number 40 registering improvements over the last 14 years.

According to the data, 55.9% of women work and 97.8% of all women are literate. Furthermore, 93.7% enroll in primary education with 89.2% going on to secondary, and 67.6% completing university. 

Women in Albania are more educated than men, and more likely to have a professional or technical job says the data. Unfortunately, this does not translate into leadership positions such as owners, CEOs of top management positions, with women accounting for no more than 18.1% of such roles.

Albanian women are also better at arts, humanities, health, welfare, journalism, and social sciences than their male counterparts.

Despite this, the proportion of unpaid work per day is 21.74% for women and just 3.47 for men, meaning that women do almost a quarter of their work, be it at home or in the workplace, for free.

Whilst there are fewer women than men in parliament, more women (53.3%) of them hold ministerial positions. Despite this fact, Albania has never had a female head of state.

Unfortunately, in terms of health and survival, it has slid a disappointing 35 places to number 145 (out of 153) since 2006. This is due to the prevalence of gender-based violence and a higher rate of maternal mortality for live births.

The average Albanian woman will have 1.62 children, birthing the first at age 27.5. Some 12.5% of the female population, however, are not able to get access to family planning which includes contraception or abortion. In terms of child marriage, deemed as being when the girl is between 16-19 years old, some 7.2 % of Albanian women were identified.