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OSCE joins national campaign for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence 2020: Listen. Believe. Support.

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On the occasion of the Annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the OSCE Presence in Albania joins the host country's awareness-raising campaign modelled after the UN worldwide campaign. This year's theme for the campaign is "Listen. Believe. Support."

"It is an imperative not to ignore or minimize violence against women. Violence must not be covered up and kept behind closed doors. Gender-based violence, compromises the whole of Albania's economic and social fabric. We need a strong response to support all institutions and civil society organizations in an across-the-board effort, including the security, social services, and policy-making dimension," noted Vincenzo Del Monaco, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania. "Without renewed efforts to reduce and eliminate gender gaps, violence against women is set to persist and to be accepted as an inevitable fact of life. That should never be the case."

Selenica Municipal Councillor Aleksandra Arshiaj, one of the seventeen women councillors participating to the Presence's Women Municipal Excellence Programme (WoMEP), said: "Violence against women is never the solution. We should listen and be present for women who have suffered from violence. We need to proactively prevent violence and support women at the local and the national level."

The messages conveyed by Del Monaco and Arshiaj focus on the urgent need for the Albanian society to become aware and address the impact of violence against women, as presented by the 2019 OSCE-led survey on Violence Against Women.

The OSCE Presence reinforces its commitment to join forces with national institutions, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations and international development partners to work to change these perceptions and to strengthen the capacities of the host country to tackle gender based violence in all domains. "As the OSCE in Albania we will Listen -- Believe and Support women, always, during, but also after the 16 Days Campaign," Del Monaco concluded.