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Workshops: A study on the situation of rural women in Albania

Workshop – 17.05.2013 – Vlorë & Workshop – 20.05.2013 – Shkoder

During February – May 2013, the AL-GARD Network, conducted a study on the situation of rural women in Albania.  The aim of this study was to identify the problems that women in rural areas in Albania face with regard to their economic and social development. In order to maximize the resources and aim for an inclusive and accepted process, the Study and the Workshops on Agenda preparation were combined in a unified process, based also on the principles of Delphi method. The method was implemented in three phases, namely:

  1. During phase 1 – 100 experts filled in a questionnaire which aimed to explore all the issues and problems faced by rural women;
  2. During phase 2 – participants reached a consensus on the identified problems;
  3. During phase 3 – participants were organized in focus groups whereby, based on identified problems they suggested main actions to be undertaken in order to address the issues.

Two workshops are held in order to reach consensus on the issues identified and to prioritize them using a prioritization matrix taking into consideration – the frequency with which the problem occurs – its importance – and opportunities to successful address it.

The first Workshop was organized in Vlora on 17.05.2013. Participants were women from rural areas from Vlora region as well as experts of the extension service, whose work is focused on counseling of rural population with regard to economic and social development. Such a mixture was necessary in order to get the opinion from the expert level and from the grass root level.

Women were given a copy of the prioritization matrix, in order for each one of them to work individually, without influencing one another. The facilitator guided the women through each of the issues, asking them to give their opinion. Moreover, women were invited to identify other problems of importance that were not already identified.

Workshop II was organized in Shkodra on 20.05.2013.  Participants were women from civil society organizations working in the rural areas and housewives from rural areas. The same process was followed as with the workshop in Vlora. It was very interesting to understand the regional differences, in the way problems were prioritized.

Based on the results, a National Round Table will be held in Tirana on 28.05.2013, aiming at defining the main principles of the Gender Agenda in Rural Development.
Participants were GARD network members and representatives of other civil society organizations whose main work is focused on development and empowerment of rural women in Albania. Moreover, as part of the know – how transfer from the GARD Spanish partner CERAI, Ms. Eva Torremocha, expert on gender and rural development was present in the activity. Ms.  Torremocha, shared the Spanish experience on rural women development through two of her presentations on “Gender mainstreaming methodologies” and “Gender equality program in rural areas: The example of Spain”.

Using the Web Chart Methodology, participants tackled every identified problem (during the previous activities) and for each one of them: identified the cause, proposed actions to be undertaken and identified the main stakeholders responsible. Main areas, upon which the Gender Agenda for Rural Development will be developed are: a) economic development, b) social inclusion c) education d) health e) care services and f) family violence.