Women, children, and some men have gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office in Tirana to protest for their rights and against the oppression of women in Albania.
On the occasion of 8 March, International Women’s Day, the protestors are calling for action to combat violence in Albanian society against women and girls.
The protest was organized by The Feminist Collective, a group of Albanian feminist activists, and centered on the theme of freedom.
“We have gathered today at to raise our voice… Violence affects women directly and specifically. We are here to make our position in society visible,” a protestor said.
At the same time, on Skanderbeg Square, tens of pairs of red shoes were laid down, representing the victims of violence in the country.
Raise your voice through the #RedShoes art installation in Skanderbeg Square by giving red shoes 👠, red flowers 🌹 and writing messages ✍️ to the violence victims in Albania.
— Luigi Soreca🇪🇺 (@LSorecaEU) March 8, 2022
Albania suffers from a very high rate of domestic and gender-based violence with one in three women reporting it at least once in their lives, compared to the EU average of one in four.
Twenty women were murdered in Albanian in 2021, while six women have lost their lives to men so far in 2022.
On Sunday, a man killed a woman and her mother-in-law in their own home, because they had allegedly failed to pay him for the firewood they had purchased. The perpetrator had a history of violence.
On Monday, a 25-year-old man attacked his mother with a knife in Tirana. The woman had recently been released from prison after serving a 9-year sentence for killing her husband.
As reported by the United Nations, women who serve sentences for violent crimes usually do so after acting in self-defense, following years of experiencing gender-based violence.