|16-19 march 2009, Study visit to Spain. Spain, an example to be followed in the efforts for achieving gender equality. Albanian Delegation in an exchange of experience at the Ministry for Equality|
In 16-19 March 2009, a delegation of the Albanian Government, led by Deputy Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Mrs. Marieta Zaçe, and comprising a number of DPEO specialists, conducted a study visit to Spain.
The purpose of the visit was to gather information and exchange opinions and experiences on gender equality and domestic violence. The visit and its related activities were mediated by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Tirana, in the framework of a joint agreement with UNIFEM.
The visit consisted mainly of a series of meetings during the three-day stay in Madrid and Barcelona for the purpose of being acquainted with the homologous structures, the ongoing legislative activities, policies, research and study in the respective fields, etc.
Meeting at the Ministry for Equality in Madrid
The first meeting was at the Ministry for Equality in Madrid that was established in 2007 as the highest authority responsible for the issues of gender equality and gender-based violence. In the meeting, ministry officials offered a presentation on the ministry’s basic structures: 1) The Anti-discrimination Department, whose goal is to stop discrimination
on the grounds of gender, age, disability, faith, sexual orientation, etc. A council, comprising representatives of the local government institutions, was established at the level of experts for the purpose of guaranteeing the abovementioned rights; 2) The Delegation of the Government against Gender Violence, whose main goal is to implement the law on gender-based violence focusing on the relations between partners; 3) Unit for Equality and Equal Opportunities in employment.
A business meeting of the delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation with the Ambassador for Promotion of Equality Policies, the Counsellor at the Office of Development Policies Planning and Assessment, and the Chief of Gender Equality Sector at the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development
The meeting focused on the equality policies that seek to bring about gender integration in the foreign policy of Spain. Among the priorities of the ministry was acting upon the Beijing platform, the Millennium Goals, meeting the Cairo Commitment, implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1325 UN Resolution, etc. The Ministry efforts diverged in two directions: a) Special Part – Development Policies and b) Work on multilateral relations.
Another important issue was the donor contributions in support of the policies related to gender equality and domestic violence, and principally the UNIFEM-supported ‘One UN Programme’. For the period 2009-2012, the Spanish Agency for Cooperation will support Albania through a micro-credit project. One of the main results of the visit was a closer co-operation with the Spanish Agency for Co-operation.
Visit to a shelter for victims of gender-based violence
The shelter for victims of gender-based violence was established in 1991. It is entirely funded by the Spanish Ministry of Social Affairs and is managed by an NGO. Each year, the projected financial plan of the shelter is submitted to the Government, which sets its budget accordingly. The female victims of gender-based violence are entitled to 18 month residence, and during this time they attend several rehabilitation programmes. Children up to 18 years old (daughters) and 12 years old (sons) are allowed to live with their mothers in the shelter.
The shelter personnel counted 20 people, of which 8 were professional staff, and the rest (12 people) was maintenance.
Meeting at the Institute for Women’s Studies at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Faculty of Economical Studies and Business Management
This independent establishment is located in the premises of the Faculty of Economics. It was the first of its kind in Spain, focusing on interdisciplinary studies and offering master programmes on gender issues.
Meeting at the Women’s Institute
Before the establishment of the Ministry for Equality, the Institute for Women’s Studies was the only responsible structure as regards the issues of gender equality and domestic violence, operating for 25 years in this field. Subsequently, the Ministry for Equality was established at the highest institutional level with the support of the Government and political parties. A special sector of the institute was dedicated to gender statistics. The statistical analysis sources consisted of the official data provided by the National Institute of Statistics, including other sources as well; the work had started for establishing a national data system on domestic violence. At local level, the municipalities were responsible for managing gender issues, whereas at central level, in the Ministry are established observers of gender equality for integrating gender issues.
Visit to the Congress of Deputies. A business meeting with the Equality Commission
The approval of two key laws is a tangible sign of the progress made in Spain in regard to gender issues: 1) Law on Gender Violence and 2) Gender Equality Law, which are fully supported by the Government and NGOs. The first step after the establishment of the Ministry for Equality was the setting of an Equality Commission at the Congress of Deputies. The commission comprises two subcommittees:
1) Subcommittee on Domestic Violence;2) Subcommittee on abort. The Chairwoman of the Commission answered the question on how the monitoring of the gender policies implementation was conducted, stating that ‘Parliamentary caucuses that are part of the commission may call the Minister for Equality to appear for reporting at the Parliament at any time.’
Meeting at the Catalan Institute for Women / Barcelona
The issues of gender equality and domestic violence are the objects of the activity of the Catalan Institute for Women. Currently, it is in the process of implementing its Strategic Plan 1.
Meeting at the Barcelona City Council Office
The municipality of Barcelona has established Equality Committees that are responsible for integrating gender issues at local level. The municipality is in the middle of implementing programmes on domestic violence, information service for women, etc. It is worth noting that surveys were conducted every four years for the purpose of measuring the use of work time for women, the living standards of the population, etc.
DOKUMENTAT POLITIKE KOMBËTARE PËR BARAZI GJINORE DHE DHUNËN NË FAMILJE
Strategjia Kombtare per Barazi Gjinore dhe Dhunen ne Familje