Albania faces several significant challenges in the advancement of women’s rights.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty that seeks to promote and protect the rights of women and girls worldwide. Albania, as a State Party to CEDAW, submitted on January 2021 its Fifth Periodic Report under Article 18 of CEDAW, which was due in 2020. The report represents a pivotal step in the nation’s ongoing journey toward gender equality and the elimination of discrimination against women. In October 2023, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concluded its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Albania.

Overall, the submission of the report serves several important purposes as it demonstrates Albania’s commitment to fulfilling its international obligations and promoting gender equality. By voluntarily participating in this reporting process, the country underscores its dedication to addressing issues of gender discrimination and violence against women and girls. The report provides an opportunity to present the legislative reforms, policy initiatives, and practical measures that have been taken to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality within the country.

In the report is highlighted that Albania has made significant progress in various areas concerning women’s rights. The country has taken steps to amend and update its legal framework to better align with CEDAW’s principles. These reforms have improved the legal status of women, addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination and made substantial strides in increasing women’s representation in political and decision-making roles, with measures in place to enhance female political participation and leadership. The report acknowledges that the country has invested in improving women’s access to education and employment opportunities, thus promoting their economic and social empowerment and has implemented comprehensive measures to address gender-based violence, including the establishment of shelters for victims and awareness campaigns.

Despite its progress, the country continues to face several significant challenges as well in the advancement of women’s rights. The report recognizes that gender-based violence remains a significant problem in Albania, with challenges in preventing, prosecuting, and providing support to victims. In terms of economic empowerment, women in Albania still face obstacles related to economic empowerment and equal opportunities in the labour market, especially women living in rural areas. 

Deep-seated traditional norms and stereotypes continue to influence gender roles and expectations, contributing to discrimination against women. Issues related to intersectionality persist, as Albania needs to address the specific issues faced by marginalized groups of women, such as Roma and LGBT+ individuals, and ensure their full inclusion and protection. Many CSO’s are pushing for the establishment of a national office for Gender Equality advancement at central/local levels, as it is believed to push forward and properly address many key issues that women and non-binary persons face.