From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Albanian Women Demand Equality, End to Gender-Based Violence in Tirana Protest

On the occasion of International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, several hundred people marched through Tirana today demanding equality, an end to violence against women, and better state response to the issue of domestic violence and femicide in Albania.

Since the beginning of 2020, eight women have been murdered by their intimate partners, three of which have occurred in the last week.

Protestors are angry that many over the 100 plus women that have been murdered in the last 19 years in Albania, had court protection orders against their attacker. This, they said shows a failure from the government and authorities to protect women from harm. One of the women that were murdered this year had a court protection order against her murderer, who had even spent time in prison for abusing her in the past. Yet, he was still able to get access to her, brutally murdering her and her brother.

Some 52% of Albanian women will suffer domestic violence at least once in their life. In the European Union, 20% of women have suffered from domestic violence, meaning Albania has a worse problem than the 28 Member States it hopes to join.

Today, protestors called out the lack of action from the government, police, and authorities, as well as society’s perception of women. 

Protestors walked from the Police Directorate to the Prime Minister’s office, banging drums, chanting, and holding up placards emblazoned with statements in support of their cause. There were also foreigners present as well as diplomats including Swedish ambassador Elsa Hastad.

Banners included slogans such as “femicide kills more than COVID-19”, “even masculinity is terrorism”, “refuse housework”, “you killed my dreams”, “feminists don’t need men”, “women don’t owe you shit”, and “love without violence”.

They called for equal rights and protection for all Albanian women including girls, LGBTI, trans, Roma, workers, women living in poverty, and those living in rural areas.