From: Alice Taylor
Half of Albanian Women Suffer Domestic Violence but Most Blame Themselves and Tolerate It

Almost half of Albanian women who have been abused, believe they should tolerate it to keep the family together. They typically blame themselves and think that telling anyone about it is shameful.

These are the results of the Women and Men in Albania 2021 report by UN Women and INSTAT.

It noted that 52.9% of women said they had experienced domestic violence in their lives with 36.6%  saying they were experiencing it currently.

Assailants are typically intimate partners or family members. The most common kinds of violence include coercive control, psychological violence, and physical and sexual violence. Women who were abused by non-intimate partners reported being slapped and kicked as the most common type of violence.

For married women, violence typically occurs within the first 1-3 years of marriage. Their abusers are typically not educated beyond a high school level.

Over 13% of all murders in Albania during 2020, were committed within the family, for example by an intimate partner. 

The data presented in the report shows that women are more highly educated, commit fewer crimes, but yet are more likely to be at risk of falling into poverty.

In 2019, 23% of the population was at risk of poverty. A further 37% were at risk of severe material deprivation. Those at risk of social exclusion accounted for 46.2% of the population but within these figures, women and girls were at a higher risk.

When it comes to education, 99.9% of boys and 94.2% of girls attend compulsory education at an elementary level. The number falls at the secondary level as just 90.1% of girls continue. But when it comes to university, 71.9% of girls carry on while just 46.7% of boys do.

In short, boys are more likely to complete pre-university education, but girls are more likely to continue to university.

The most popular subjects for university diplomas were business studies, administration, and law. Women preferred business, administration and law, health and wellbeing, and arts and humanities. Men preferred business administration and law, engineering, manufacturing and construction, and health and wellbeing. 

In terms of health and wellbeing, women are more likely to eat more fruit and vegetables and exercise regularly. Women are also on average in a healthy weight range with a BMI of 25.4  while men are on average obese with a BMI of 44.6.

Women drink and smoke less than their male counterparts. This could be part of the reason why they live up to four years more than men.

Over 17,000 people tied the knot in 2020. 50% of Albanian women get married before 24 with 78% being married before they are 30. Men however waited until they were 34 before 81% were married. Some 6.6% of women were married before 18 while there were zero cases of men being married this young.

But the number of births is decreasing in Albania. During 2020 there were just over 28,000 births but the figure remained below the replacement level of 2.1 per couple.

The boy-girl ratio remained at an unnatural level. 107 boys were born for every 100 girls, two more than the natural level suggesting the presence of sex-selective abortions.

Women typically become mothers at 29 years old while men are in their mid-thirties. Teen pregnancies decreased, specifically in the 15-19 year age group.

The mean age for giving birth is 29 years old and there were increases in the number of pregnancies with older women as well. Statistics show that men become fathers five years later than women.