TIRANA, 6 March 2015 - On the occasion of the upcoming International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Florian Raunig, stressed the need for a significantly increased representation of women in the Albanian politics as key to the further development of democracy.
“A substantial representation of women in decision-making is essential for any country that wants to reach its full potential. Albania has made remarkable progress particularly by increasing the number of women in government to 30 per cent”, said Raunig. “However, there are still challenges ahead as women make up only about 20 per cent of Members of Parliament, and especially in the local government where only 12 per cent of local councillors and only one per cent of mayors are women.”
Raunig welcomed the initiatives of women parliamentarians and others to increase the number and participation of women in politics. “Several political parties have pledged to increase the number of women candidates on their lists. This is laudable and is hopefully an indication that the Albanian political class is serious about dealing with the issue of gender equality in politics. It is also essential that the parties put women in positions in the candidate lists which give them a fair and realistic chance to be elected,” he said.
In the run-up to the 2015 local elections, the OSCE Presence in Albania has intensified efforts to promote gender equality and empower women to fully participate in public and political life. The Presence is building their capacity to stand as candidates in the elections and lobbying for the full implementation of the gender quota in the Electoral Code – both in letter and spirit.