On December 2, at the City Library in Berat, the tour ‘Strong as a Woman’ made its stop on a journey through 12 Albanian cities.
Free training is being given by ESD instructors using the methodology “Empowerment through Self-Defense”. Women and girls were educated on conflict management, assertiveness, and the prevention of violence. Furthermore, they were given guidance on self-defence skills.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the 2019 earthquake, Albanian women and girls have suffered more gender-based violence and have been forced back into traditional gender-based roles.
One participant said, “I am very pleased to be part of the training as I learned some practical techniques that are very good to follow in time.”
Another participant said, “A very original, practical and tangible approach. Girls training, helping and very sporty. “
Michele Ribotta, UN Women Representative in Albania and Piro Xheblati, Director of Social Services were also present at the training.
Ribotta said: “We believe in this methodology and we think it has the potential to change things in terms of how girls can react to violent situations.”
While Piro Xheblati, Head of the Social Department said that “I am especially grateful to the staff women who sacrifice themselves for those women in need.”
This tour passed through all Albanian cities and ended on December 10, coinciding with the end of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The tour aimed to raise awareness and strengthen the community by providing prevention, protection and support mechanisms to all women in Albania.
Since 2019, over 1000 women and girls and 40 instructors have received ESD methodology training.
ESD Albania is the program of the NGO “Aikido Albania”, dedicated to promoting empowerment.