Discrimination against women in the workplace is common in Albania, where the legacy of patriarchal practices persists and women employees are often targets of psychological violence and sexual harassment. In September 2011 the municipal police of Tirana severely beat two women civil servants after they refused to leave the office because the director failed to give them proper notice of dismissal, claiming “they were fired.” The women continued to receive threats from the director via text message after reporting the incident to the police; and municipal representatives made no attempts to publicly condemn the acts. Only days later, police beat another woman civil servant after she reported that she had been sexually harassed by the Mayor of the Kamza municipality. In response, the Gender Alliance for Development Center (GADC) requested funds to organize a public debate on “Women’s Rights and Freedoms in the Workplace,” in which several hundred participants from across the country, including representatives from civil society, public institutions, private institutions, NGOs and the media, will join together to discuss the issue of violence against women in the workplace. GADC also plans to use funds to support the women survivors with administrative costs associated with filing their cases.
GADC is a civil society organization that aims to create equal opportunities between the sexes through: gender-sensitive information, studies, research, advocacy, lobbying, and training courses. The organization also works to promote women’s empowerment and address domestic violence issues.