“We are all born equal. Gender equality must start at home, continues in schools and reflects in society. A real and effective endeavor for gender equality makes men part of the solution,” Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco said on the International Women’s Day.
Together with Minister of Education, Sports and Youth, Evis Kushi, he marked 8th March with an open discussion with students and teachers, focused on the importance of youth engagement for gender equality.
The key message of the event was the message that youth have a great role in bringing change, especially when it comes to gender equality, and young Albanians should take a greater personal and joint responsibility in challenging gender stereotypes, in recognizing and fighting gender-based violence, and reshaping gender roles in their everyday life, in their public engagement, and in their combined efforts to bring about a better and fairer society.
Ambassador Del Monaco and Minister Kushi pointed at the need for youth to engage in Albania’s efforts towards gender equality in all walks of life. They pointed at the education sector as one of the areas of paramount importance in determining the success of this quest in the long run.
“We look forward to the substantial advancement of the gender equality agenda in Albania’s educational institutions, as schools have an essential role to play in inculcating the concept of gender equality as a norm and as a practice in young people, as the primary carriers of democratic values and social progress,” Del Monaco said.
The Head of Presence noted on the renewed gender equality focus of the OSCE Swedish Chairpersonship and praised the engagement of Minister Kushi, of the women rights organizations and of the Alliance of Women MPs over the last years in their efforts to advance equal representation in Albania’s institutional and social life. He urged young people to be a more active part in this nation-wide effort.
“We see youth and gender equality as a topic that stretches all across the board; the level of youth engagement with and understanding of gender equality in the high schools is clearest indication that Albania’s education institutions are at the forefront of our joint quest for equal opportunities.”
The OSCE Presence in Albania works in close co-operation with national authorities, civil society sector and international development partners towards advancing gender equality and ensuring equal opportunities for women in political and public life, by strengthening national mechanisms for the advancement of women and providing assistance to support Albania’s efforts to enhance gender equality, combat domestic violence and gender based violence and fulfil Albania’s obligations under Women, Peace and Security agenda. At the local level, through its Women Municipal Excellence Programme, since 2019 the Presence is building the capacities of elected women councillors to fulfil their roles as decision makers and as contributors to a better local governance.
The Presence looks forward to advance its youth work, with a special focus on gender equality with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth through a strong and effective cooperation, to promote and sustain gender equality with a special focus on youth at the local, national and regional level. /argumentum.al