Strengthened Civil Society for Advocating for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Rights
Donor: Un Women
Project duration: 01.08.2012 - 31.12.2012
Target country (ies) or region(s): Shkodra, Tirana, Elbasan and Vlora. Overall objective of this project was to increase capacities of grassroots civil society organizations and local media to promote and facilitate public demand on women's economic rights and significantly bring women's economic empowerment targeting especially the most vulnerable and marginalized in rural, informal and urban areas, including with the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner (ADC) and the People's Advocate.II.
Summary of the priority issues and activitiesCapacity building
- 20 training sessions were organized and delivered according to the UN Women agenda for this project. The trainings focusing on women economic empowerment and labour rights, under guidance of GADC, built upon the know-how and experience created throughout the previous GADC CARDS project, under which a pool of trainers were trained and a series of training delivered with good impact. The pool of resource persons trained in gender and economics issues was activated and regenerated.10 Trainings with grassroots CSOs, media and trade unions to demand for compliance with international, regional and national commitments and laws on women's economic rights and advocate with responsible actors and institutions were delivered over one-day periods.
- 10 Trainings with grassroots CSOs and media capacities to identify, report and advocate for cases of economic discrimination and vulnerability hampering women's full participation in the work force and economic sector focused on concrete steps to identification, reporting and advocating. These trainings were delivered over one-day periods. Advocacy and lobbying:
This stage of activities was stretched out during the majority of the intervention, with minor adaptations in the course of the projects, starting with advocacy activities targeting primarily proactivity of public institutions (including ADC and Ombudsman), the social service providers on the need to promote women empowerment; advocacy with business outlets, trade associations on benefits of women engagement and for facilitation of employment advocate with responsible actors and institutions (including ADC and Ombudsman) as well as Chambers of Commerce, private companies to endorse and promote the protection of women's rights and equal access and participation in economic sector.
Discussions, meetings, lobbying with authorities and trade representatives were complemented by a final roundtable bringing together representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and its subsidiary institutions, business associations, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to discuss about ways to promote women empowerment, as well as to launch the created Network.
GADC established an ad hoc network with local grassroots NGOs, Media representatives and Trade Unions targeting rural, informal as well as urban areas with a draft Action Plan in partnership and close coordination with UN Women. This approach will ensure local buy-in and sustainable results. An initial meeting in Tirana was organized with the grassroot NGOs' representatives, Media and Trade Unions (previously trained) working in the four regions.
A baseline report was prepared during project implementation. GADC mapped women economic situation in the 4 regions and established a baseline with all available data from the public institutions on employment, enterprises, working forces, women registered at the social insurance scheme, etc. The network organizations will were indirectly involved in the consultations and preparation of the baseline study, through their inputs.
Awareness raising activities on women's rights– dissemination of various forms of communication and publication material (hundreds) in simple language on labour rights during project activities (meetings, trainings, events) and 9 Media appearances (during activities) ensured a multiplier effect of direct capacity building activities and trainings and discussions with women and grassroot organizations, but will raised the profile of issues to a local agenda.
The project brough the women economic rights issue to the public agenda through articles in the printed media, prepared by the media representatives participating in the trainings. 6 articles were prepared.
GADC will also ensure the integration of the findings during the implementation of this project in shadow reports to CEDAW (GADC is the author of the latest CEDAW shadow report and has been part of the preparation team in the previous reports) and other HR bodies.
Key achievements of the project:
Project start up meetings organized in national and local level (kick off meeting in Tirana, formal meetings with NGOs in Vlora, Shkodra, Elbasan):
- Capacity building tool (training manual) produced for use in trainings with NGOs and Media.
- 3 Formal meetings with NGO representatives in Shkodra, Vlora and Shkodra organized
- 20 Capacity Building Activities (trainings) 9 with media representatives,
- 10 with NGOs, 1 with Trade Unions organized.
- Baseline study on the four targeted regions finalized.
- Mediatic Visibility appearances (9 TV chronicles in Local TV during project activities)
- Informal Meetings with Civil Society and Media to promote and establish the Network ‚Together for Women's Economic Rights Protection'.
- A round table organized with signing members to lauch the Network 'Together for Women's Economic Rights Protection'.
- The Network 'Together for Women's Economic Rights Protection' with 122 members from 68 NGOs and Trade Unions and 54 media was created and launched.
- 6 Articles on women economic rights related topics prepared by trained media representatives.
GADC considers this project of utmost importance on the field of Economic Empowerment of women. Building the capacities and bringing together civil society, media and trade unions as partners for women economic rights protection was an innovative intervention which has resulted productive and efficient considering the achieved results. Beside, involving Ombudsman and ADC during the process has helped the main project counterparts (NGO, Media and Trade Unions) better understand the role of these institutions in the protection of women's economic rights and has helped in building communication and collaboration bridges between them. At the end of this project we have a created network of civil society and media representatives who have expressed their good will in joining forces for the network's cause. According to GADC and Network members as well, now it's time to concretely start doing something about making the drafted platform of action a reality, in order to ensure continuity of the network and contribute to the improvement of women's economic empowerment in Albania.