On the road to the EU: Monitoring equal opportunities for women and men in Albania

Type Report
Title On the road to the EU: Monitoring equal opportunities for women and men in Albania
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Publisher Open Society Institute Network Women's Program
URL http://pdc.ceu.hu/archive/00003259/01/on_the_road_eu_albania.pdf
In tandem with the political changes in Central and Eastern Europe, in the annus mirabilis of 1990 Albania underwent a political transformation accompanied by the emergence of corresponding new institutions. Post-1990 legislation reflects Albania’s commitment to political democracy, aligning it with political and institutional standards in developed democracies. These changes have also brought about significant changes on issues of gender equality, including transformation of the legal system and the emergence of a new institutional framework.\n\nAlbanian legislation has changed radically and is now in the process of harmonization to incorporate the requirements of relevant European Union (EU) law into the national legal order. As a potential candidate country, Albania is preparing for eventual EU membership, and is in the midst of bringing its legal framework in compliance with the requirements of EU directives and guidelines. In regard to gender equality, Albanian legislation has generally met priorities established in the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP) with the European Union. However, as the following report details, implementation of these laws faces major hurdles.\n\nIn recent years, significant progress has been made in developing national legislation to promote the protection of women’s rights as basic human rights, and foster equality between women and men in the economy and in public life. The Albanian government has endorsed this equality by enacting the appropriate legislation, giving women equal rights and obligations with men. However, the absence of political mechanisms to effectively enforce the new laws has actually increased gender inequality, which directly impairs the process of economic development, democratization, and political stability. Without effective enforcement, gender stereotypes and traditional mentalities preserve the structural inequalities between women and men and unequal power relations\nbetween them.\n\nThe grassroots social change movement (mainly women’s organizations) has made an important contribution during these years to the enactment of gender sensitive legislation, such as the Act on Reproductive Health, 1995, the Family Code, 2003, and the Gender Equality Act, 2004.\n

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