Theme: Promoting Comprehensive Security, Stability and Sustainable Development in the OSCE area through Women’s Economic empowerment.
RENATE member Ana Stakaj, Executive Leader at Mary Ward Loreto Albania, presented at the annual June gathering, where she shared about the most important factors in the empowerment of women.
Drawing upon her years of service commitment at MWL and RENATE, Ana was able to inform the delegates about the realities of life for women on the margin, in both urban and rural settings. Ana shared about the power of cultural morés, whereby long held traditions continue to influence society and women and girls are not encouraged or supported to stay in school and attain gainful employment.
Ana shared that one of the most important factors in the empowerment of women is to Increase women’s and girls’ educational attainment. Programs for education, upskilling and re-skilling– especially to keep pace with rapid technological and digital transformations affecting jobs—are critical for women’s and girl’s health and wellbeing, as well as their income-generation opportunities and participation in the formal labour market.
The women Ana interviewed were well able to identify the importance to them of being able to earn an income, which not only helped sustain family life but helped personally sustain the self-esteem of the women themselves.
When it comes to recommendations based on informed experience, Ana recommends community development approaches for tackling social and cultural norms that prohibit women from the celebration of human rights. Additionally, Ana recommends Free legal aid as it is crucial for women who don’t have steady or adequate income.
From the experiences at MWL, the collaboration of CSO’s with the public and private sector supports opening access to opportunities not only at the basic levels of living standards, but to also achieve higher levels of security and well-being through education, training and employment opportunities.
Tune in to the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZiC_xeEu88