Women continue to be an underrepresented force in the decision making processes in our country. A concerning statistic unveiled last evening in the lists of candidates for the future members of Albanian Parliament, clearly indicated that political willingness of Albanian Political Parties is against the true representation of Albanian women in Parliament. Women, who represent half of the population, lost the chance to have an appropriate representation in the highest decision making institution of Albania. Last evening statistics forewarned that Albanian women in the next four years will be represented by a low number of Members in the next Parliament.
Member organizations of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, in cooperation with many other civil society organizations in Albania, in unison demanded the determination of the gender quota in the Electoral Code in order to increase the number of women in the Albanian Parliament, as well as the representation of women in decision making bodies. Gender quotas are adapted to enable a critical mass of the less represented gender in the decision making structures of a country. Gender quotas are a mechanism to bring rapid changes in relation to gender inequality in representation prevailing in Albania.
Representatives of political parties have never provided the sufficient support to the specifications on gender quotas in the Electoral Code, as per demands of the civil society. This time, we expected that during the drafting of lists, political parties were going to consider what they demanded and included in the Electoral Code. Unfortunately, once again that did not happen.
ALBANIAN WOMEN WILL NOT HAVE THE POSSIBILITY TO BE FAIRLY REPRESENTED IN THE ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT
However, the challenges continue and we will keep on demanding fair representation of women in all decision making institutions until such request is fulfilled. We wish success in Albania's general elections of June 23, 2013 to all the women representatives of political parties, who managed to be on the respective lists, hoping that during the electoral campaign each of them will convey specific programs for the advancing of women rights and achievement of gender equality in Albania.