TIRANA, Mar. 7- As March 8th is approaching, the Voice of America published an article about how violence towards women still remains an unresolved issue in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and other regional counties. This information comes from data gathered from a survey with girls and women aged 18-74 years old. The survey was conducted by OSCE in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Moldavia, and Ukraine. Women from Kosovo were also surveyed.
In Albania 48 percent of the surveyed women believe that violence in the family is a private matter that should be resolved within the family. This is an issue as it feeds the culture of failure to reports such cases. Albania, North Macedonia, Moldavia, and Kosovo have the highest percentage in answering that family violence should be treated as a family issue.
In Albania 17 percent of the surveyed women believe that having unconsented sexual intercourse is excusable if with the husband or partner/boyfriend. In Kosovo this number amounts to 25 percent. In the same category of unconsented sexual intercourse, 15 percent of the surveyed women in Albania agreed that it is excusable if the woman violated was wearing a “provocative” outfit, whereas in Kosovo that number is 19 percent.
17 percent of surveyed women in Albania answered that they have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence since 15 years old. In Kosovo only eight percent of the surveyed admitted to having suffered these phenomenons. This might come from misinformation, as in Albania 28 percent said they weren’t informed on the ways and forms of reporting acts of violence. In Kosovo is 34 percent. Also 32 percent of Albanian women and 49 percent of Kosovan women said they weren’t aware of any non-governmental organizations which supports female victims of violence.
The survey in Albania showed that violent acts from an intimate partner are three times more often that those suffered from another family member or stranger. 15 to 28 percent of Albanian women admitted to have suffered psychological problems from acts of physical or sexual acts, including anxiety, fear, issues regarding intimate intercourses, or problems with sleep and concentration.
The OSCE report notices that the women from the surveyed countries have a low representation in legislative institutions. In Albania women are represented at a 28 percent in the parliament, but in local levels these representations are even lower. Only 15 percent of the municipalities in our country are directed by women. In Macedonia, these number amounts to 6 percent.
Also women have a low representation in law implementation structures which should be more than responsible to violence complaints by women. A low women’s representation is also in the economic activities of these countries, but the more problematic situation is noticed in leading and executive positions in corporations and businesses.
The survey from OSCE was conducted during the spring and summer of 2018. The data gathered point out that 70 percent of the surveyed women since 15 years old have experienced harassment, stalking, threats, violence from an intimate partner, or another person. 45 percent of the surveyed women have experienced sexual harassments, including harassments through the internet. 23 percent of the women have suffered physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner. 18 percent of the surveyed women admitted to have suffered physical and/or sexual violence from a person who wasn’t their partner.
The survey concluded that these issues are connected to the mentality that women should be submissive, respective of the decisions taken by the husband or intimate partner, the silence in cases of maltreatment which still exist in the countries where the survey was conducted.