Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Activities, Activities

Remarks by the First Lady, Armanda Begaj, in the meeting with representatives of the ADA project “Expanding Choices”

The First Lady, Armanda Begaj along with the First Lady of Austria, Doris Schmidauer, participated in a meeting with representatives of the project of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA): “Expanding Choices: Gender-Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in Western Balkans and Moldova”.  Below, find Mrs. Begaj’s full remark:

Hello everyone,

Honorable Mrs. Schmidauer/ Dear Doris,

I am very happy that we are gathered here today to talk about such an important issue.

Women have a very essential role. We bear the responsibility of bringing new life into our world, while also being productive members of society. But very often, women find it difficult to develop these two dimensions in parallel as they wish, due to the lack of appropriate conditions and limited support.

This is a very vital problem, because society as a whole needs contribution and workforce, for which women are more than capable and qualified. This is a global issue, but it is more present in developing countries.

Figures don’t lie: “About six out of ten Albanian women find it difficult to combine paid work with housekeeping”, and therefore they are forced to make a choice.

For that reason, it is very necessary to talk about women and the strengthening of their role in our society, but it is even more necessary to act. Projects like “Expanding Choices”, which focus on gender-responsive family policies, while supporting women to further their careers, address this problem not only by raising awareness, but also by taking action and making real and visible changes.

Every change is a step forward in the fight for gender equality and by creating equal opportunities, we are helping not only women, but our entire society.

We need the coordination of all actors: public institutions, the private sector, various organizations and agencies, to create projects and policies like the one we are gathered here, which would help women reach their potential and realize their professional ambitions, without sacrificing their family priorities.

Because women should never choose one over the other, they must have the opportunity to do both!

I thank all those present here today, the Austrian Development Agency and UNFPA for their work in Albania and I wish that such projects expand further more!

Thank you!