Organizational Communications

International Women’s Day 2024. Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress by
empowering against abuse and exploitation

“Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”, is this year’s UN slogan of International Women’s Day. Today, La Strada International, the European Platform against trafficking in human beings, seeks to highlight the importance of female empowerment and the integration of women into our European societies, encompassing economic, social, and cultural dimensions;. Particularly essential is the empowerment of
migrant women and those at risk of exploitation and abuse

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There are many reasons to advocate loudly for equal rights and investments in (migrant) women. Gender roles and gender discrimination in our labour markets create vulnerabilities for human trafficking. Discriminatory practices and unequal power dynamics between men and women not only pervade society but also permeate the professional sphere, affecting the economic standing of women  and leading to their disproportionate representation in informal or low-paying occupations. Due to the feminisation of poverty, many women are more prone to work under poor labour conditions and accept unfair job offers or low wages to make a living.
For example, many women, especially migrant women, work as domestic workers. Domestic workoften does not provide access to legal protection. Employees face a high threat of (sexual) harassment, coercion, poor housing and living conditions, all while being paid little. The UN highlights that approximately 80% of domestic workers globally are women, emphasizing the undeniable urgencyof addressing this as a matter of gender equality.1 In addition to trafficking for sexual exploitation, trafficking for domestic work remains the predominant sector where a significant number of femalevictims are exploited. This underscores the urgency to move beyond mere political discourse and prioritise investments in women’s well-being, guaranteeing fundamental human rights for all. Unfortunately, a strong commitment is not reflected in current political decisions. The gender pay gap is still a reality all over the world and is not decreasing. Care-work which is predominantly provided by women is still not recognized as work. Furthermore, we continue to see a high prevalence of domestic violence, including instances of fatal violence and sexual exploitation against women, persisting across Europe. Moreover, recent statistics from Eurostat reveal that 63% of the registered victims of trafficking in the EU are female. Political agreement has been achieved on an EU directive aimed at addressing violence against women and domestic violence. Nevertheless, France, Germany, Hungary and several other countries have opted against incorporating a consent based definition of rape in the Violence Against Women Directive, leaving victims of sexual violence to continue their struggle for recognition of their rights. Moreover, the recast of the EU Trafficking Directive failed to progress in securing victims’ rights related to unconditional support, safe reporting, compensation, residence or unpunishment. A lack of legal protection places undocumented women more at risk and thus makes them vulnerable to trafficking in human beings. Improving and promoting women’s rights is the only way to create a long-lasting new equilibrium in world society in which women are free from violence, exploitation and abuse and empowered to determine their own futures.

The tragic news of the 41-year-old woman

The tragic news of the 41-year-old woman, mother of 4 young children, who ended her life after being abused, blackmailed, and bullied, is an ALARM BELL for the situation of violence against girls and women in Albanian society.

 

Family members have expressed that the woman had been abused by her husband for 25 years. This case clearly reflects the murderous patriarchal mentality that exists in our society; the neglect of family, community, and even institutions to remove the victim and her children from the situation of violence; the freedom of people to bully, oppress, and denigrate the figure of a woman.

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“Vatra” Center considers it important:

 

To continue the investigation with the aim of clarifying the incident and bringing to justice the individuals involved in the event, the husband, and the creators of the bullying videos on TikTok, which is becoming the most widely used social network, causing her severe psychological distress leading to suicide;

Coordination of actions by the protection system/local referral mechanism for victims of violence to take measures to protect the victim’s children and support the family by local structures;

Review of laws regarding behavior in the digital world and taking measures against online abusers and bullies;

Intensification of prevention campaigns to raise awareness in the wider community about the phenomenon of violence, its consequences for victims and their children, and information about the map of supportive services provided by local structures and civil society organizations.

 

THERE IS A NEED FOR EMERGENCY MEASURES!

Justice must speak, the guilty must be punished!

Civil society organizations working to protect women’s rights, human rights activists, members of civil society, independent media, and free journalists, as well as free professionals in the social field, are protesting today in front of the Prosecutor’s Office of the First Instance of the General Jurisdiction in Vlore, demanding:

Protection of the victim of sexual abuse!

Punishment of the perpetrators of the criminal act!

The sexual abuse of a 26-year-old woman by a group of assailants has been widely covered by the media for days.

Some of us are familiar with the case through the victim’s family or the victim herself; the situation is ALARMING!

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Therefore, as civil society organizations, we call for maximum attention to the protection of the victim and the punishment of the perpetrators. As seen in the media and from our communications with state institutions, the girl is currently unprotected by the state.

The abused or threatened victim is not currently in a specially secured center! Centers that are legally designated places where the abused should receive proper treatment.

The trauma left by sexual violence on victims of sexual assault is long-lasting; therefore, we seek everyone’s attention.

We urge you to investigate the case thoroughly, not succumbing to pressures or threats; the perpetrators this time have names!

 

We ask you to:

Investigate the individuals who threatened the victim in the hospital.

Investigate individuals who threatened family members.

Investigate those responsible for not allowing the girl to be treated in high-security centers (as determined by law).

Maximize the punishment for the arrested and those declared wanted for this serious criminal offense.

We ask you not only to be legal professionals in this case but to be the parents, brothers, and sisters of the girl.

We ask you to protect the dignity and personality of the victim of the criminal act as envisaged in the Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.

We are ready to provide free legal assistance to the victim of the criminal act through legal and social professionals, as well as further social and psychological support.

We are aware that the case is in a serious state of health, and we urgently request that all standard procedures for victims of sexual violence be fulfilled, taking into account the relevant legislation.

 

We have hope in you this time!

Vatra Psycho-Social Center

“Today, on the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, we call on the leaders of the EU and member states to ensure that victims of human trafficking can effectively claim and assess their rights within the European Union.”

Civil society organizations working to protect women’s rights, human rights activists, members of civil society, independent media, and free journalists, protest today in front of the Prosecutor’s Office of the First Instance of the General Jurisdiction in Vlore, demanding:

 

Protection of the victim of sexual abuse!

Punishment of the perpetrators of the criminal act!

Read more

The sexual abuse of a 26-year-old woman by a group of assailants has been widely covered by the media in recent days. Some of us are familiar with the case through the victim’s family or the victim herself, and the situation is ALARMING!

 

As civil society organizations, we call for maximum attention to the protection of the victim and the punishment of the perpetrators. As seen in the media and from our communications with state institutions, the girl is currently unprotected by the state.

 

The abused or threatened victim is not currently in a specially secured center! Centers that are legally designated places where the abused should receive proper treatment.

 

The trauma left by sexual violence on victims of sexual assault is long-lasting, so we seek everyone’s attention.

 

We urge you to investigate the case thoroughly, not succumbing to pressures or threats. This time, the perpetrators have names!

 

We ask you to:

 

Investigate the individuals who threatened the victim in the hospital.

Investigate individuals who threatened family members.

Investigate those responsible for not allowing the girl to be treated in high-security centers (as determined by law).

Maximize the punishment for the arrested and those declared wanted for this serious criminal offense.

We ask you not only to be legal professionals in this case but to be the parents, brothers, and sisters of the girl.

 

We ask you to protect the dignity and personality of the victim of the criminal act as envisaged in the Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.

 

We are ready to provide free legal assistance to the victim of the criminal act through legal and social professionals, as well as further social and psychological support.

 

We are aware that the case is in a serious state of health, and we urgently request that all standard procedures for victims of sexual violence be fulfilled, taking into account the relevant legislation.

 

We have hope in you this time!

Open letter

To: National Television Klan – Program “Aldo Morning Show”.

Mr. Albert Dumani, Programming Director at TV KLAN

 

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For the attention of: the Audiovisual Media Authority

Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination

Albanian Media Council

Union of Albanian Journalists

Association of Professional Journalists of Albania

Association of Albanian Electronic Media

Association of Journalists for Justice

 

Subject: On misinformation and discriminatory language used during the “Aldo Morning Show” broadcast on March 9, 2023

 

Dear representatives of the “Aldo Morning Show” program at National Television Klan,

 

We address you on behalf of a group of organizations working to protect and promote the rights of girls and women as human rights, with a particular focus on victims of gender-based violence. Expressing appreciation for your work and duty to inform and raise awareness among citizens correctly, and hoping for your cooperation and understanding, we address you with concern regarding the treatment of the contribution and work of organizations working to protect women’s rights during the broadcast on March 9, 2023.

 

During the program broadcast, the public was misled and discriminatory, derogatory, and mocking language was used against organizations directly working to protect victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence. We believe that the treatment of the issue justifies and legitimizes misinformation and discriminatory language. Unfair treatment encourages misunderstandings or misinterpretations that create prejudices about the work of organizations and hinder the general public but also girls, women, or men who are victims of violence in particular, from being informed and seeking help from these organizations. We also believe that you can do better to combat the problematic mindset of Albanian society that tolerates gender-based violence.

 

Encouraged by this incident and based on the provisions of the AMA Audiovisual Transmitter Code, we seek your cooperation to reflect on the following positions:

 

• Respecting ethical principles during the broadcast of materials related to informing or misinforming the public. Incorrect reporting and treatment of issues related to violence as a ‘source of income for NGOs’ and manipulation of information may lead the public to distrust and other victims to refrain from reporting violence and consequently not to receive existing services. At the societal level, such a media stance reinforces gender stereotypes.

• We invite you to join our positions to build a society where violence is not tolerated for any reason. The social approach, reinforced by the media, which seeks to blame the victim, or in this case those who have been providing dedicated services for decades, must end.

• Strengthening cooperation between the Media and Civil Society through joint initiatives, aiming at exchanging information about the work and investing in the social services of organizations working for women’s rights. The media should be an emancipatory factor for gender stereotypes, roles, gender inequality, and discriminatory attitudes.

• We suggest consulting with representatives of the field in advance in cases when dealing with issues related to gender-based violence and domestic violence, to avoid inappropriate treatment of these major societal problems and Albanian families.

 

Trusting in your awareness as citizens and media professionals, we once again ask you to pay proper attention to our submissions, as well as express our willingness for further cooperation.

 

Sincerely,

 

AWEN – Albanian Women’s Empowerment Network

Elbasan Women’s Forum

Woman to Woman, Shkodra

Counseling Line for Women and Girls

Gender Alliance Development Center, Tirana

Center for Citizen Legal Initiatives, Tirana

“Vatra” Psycho-Social Center, Vlora

Women, Peace, Security Association, Durres

Association “I the Woman”, Pogradec

Association “Agritra Vision”, Peshkopi

Association “Jona”, Saranda

Office for Boys and Men, Shkodra

Office for Boys and Men, Tirana

Open letter

To: Klan – National Television – “Aldo Morning Show” Program.

Mr. Albert Dumani, Program Director at TV KLAN

Read more

For your information:

Audiovisual Media Authority

Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination

Albanian Media Council

Union of Albanian Journalists

Association of Professional Journalists of Albania

League of Journalists of Albania

Association of Albanian Electronic Media

Association of Journalists for Justice

 

Subject: On disinformation and discriminatory language used during “Aldo Morning Show” program, dated March 9, 2023.

 

Dear representatives of “Aldo Morning Show” program at Klan National Television,

 

We address you on behalf of a group of organizations working to protect and promote the rights of girls and women as human rights, with a particular focus on victims of gender-based violence. Expressing appreciation for your work and responsibility for informing and raising awareness among citizens correctly, and hoping for your cooperation and understanding, we express concern regarding the treatment of the contribution and work of organizations working to defend women’s rights on the show on March 9, 2023.

 

During the program broadcast, the public was misinformed, and discriminatory, denigrating, and mocking language was used against organizations directly working to protect victims of gender-based violence and family violence. We believe that the way the issue was handled justifies and legitimizes disinformation and discriminatory language. Unfair treatment encourages misunderstandings or misinterpretations that create prejudices about the work of organizations and hinder the general public as well as girls, women, or abused men from being informed and seeking help from these organizations. We also believe that you can do better to combat the problematic mindset of Albanian society that tolerates gender-based violence.

 

Encouraged by this event, based on the articles of the Audiovisual Transmitters Code of AMA, we seek your cooperation to reflect on the following attitudes:

 

Respect for ethical principles during the broadcast of materials related to informing or misinforming the public. Incorrect reporting and treatment of issues related to violence as a ‘source of income for NGOs’ and the manipulation of information may lead the public to distrust and discourage other victims from reporting violence and, as a result, not accessing existing services. Such a media stance reinforces gender stereotypes at the societal level.

We invite you to join our positions to build a society where violence is not tolerated for any reason. The societal approach, reinforced by the media where blame is sought on the victims, or those who have been providing dedicated services for decades, should end.

Strengthening collaboration between the Media and Civil Society through joint initiatives, aiming to exchange information related to the work and investment in social services of organizations working for women’s rights. The media should be an empowering factor against gender stereotypes, roles, gender inequality, and discriminatory attitudes.

We suggest consulting with representatives of the field in advance when dealing with issues related to gender-based violence and family violence to avoid the improper treatment of these major issues in Albanian society and families.

Believing in your awareness as citizens and media professionals, we once again request your proper attention to our concerns and express our willingness to further cooperation.

 

Sincerely,

 

AWEN – Albanian Women Empowerment Network

Women’s Forum Elbasan

Woman to Woman, Shkodra

Counseling Line for Women and Girls

Gender Alliance for Development Center, Tirana

Center for Civic Legal Initiatives, Tirana

“Vatra” Psycho-Social Center, Vlore

Women, Peace, Security Association, Durres

“Une gruaja” Association, Pogradec

“Agritra Vizion” Association, Peshkopi

“Jona” Association, Saranda

Office for Boys and Men, Shkodra

Office for Boys and Men, Tirana