EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (PAG), Amb. Mara Marinaki, completed today her two-day consultations in Tirana on issues relevant to Gender and the Women, Peace and Security agenda with key stakeholders in the government, women parliamentarians, local authorities, representatives of civil society and international organisations. She also briefed and exchanged views with EU MS HoMs in Tirana on ways of better targeting EU contributions on gender in the context of Albania's pre-accession efforts.
Key areas of the PAG discussions focused on the main EU gender priorities related to women's empowerment, including women's political participation and the promotion of girls' education opportunities, especially in rural areas, on combating all forms of violence against women, including child marriage and gender-based violence, through EU-assisted efforts for the proper implementation of social protection and inclusion policies and national strategies.
PAG Marinaki emphasised the need for prompt and full implementation of Albania's international commitments on gender equality, women's empowerment and on women, peace and security, especially at local and municipal levels. Specifically on gender-sensitive budgeting, she stressed the importance of ensuring concrete funding to be earmarked for the implementation of the recently adopted action plan for the national strategy on gender equality, and all other gender-relevant policies and action plans, with special emphasis on the need for the prompt adoption by Albania of a National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
While acknowledging Albania's important progress regarding women's empowerment in key areas over recent years, PAG Marinaki indicated EU readiness to assist further the Albanian authorities on the improvement of the state services provided to victims of domestic violence in Albania, as well as for the effective establishment of preventive and protective measures through shelters, hotlines and social/medical support to victims of domestic violence.
PAG Marinaki's first visit to Albania was part of the effort to promote the EU gender/WPS priorities in the Western Balkans, that also included a first stop in Kosovo.