United Nations Day: Six Women were given the Achievement Award for Changing the Society

Six "silent heroines" were praised with special gratitude during the anniversary of the United Nations Day in Albania. The activity dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment was held today at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the United Nations Office and the Swedish Embassy in Albania.

From being an entrepreneur who works in rural areas to an environmentalist who works to protect the land, from  a victim of violence to a women's rights advocate, from a diplomat to a fiery fighter against drugs and crime - these women have been real role model to follow in their communities.

Every day they contribute to a positive change of the community around them and affect issues that are at the heart of public debate.

In his address, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati said that 72 years after the organization was founded and with more than half a trillion dollars in expenses, it seems that salvation from hell is no longer enough excuse, as Dag Hammarskjöld expressed when the organization was founded.

Minister Bushati underlined the fact that "respect for women's rights plays a decisive role, not just for numbers".

In this framework, he added, the Albanian government has undertaken important legal commitments to fight against discrimination and to promote gender equality. Women’s involvement is not a privilege to a group of society because women and girls are not a group of society, they make up half of it.

For Bushati, the way women see the world change: "They focus more on man than on letters; on the community than on the papers and projects; on solutions rather than problems. Involment of women and girls is an organic part of our vision for a fairer and inclusive society. "

Brian James Williams, United Nations Permanent Coordinator, said: "We are gathered here today to award six of the thousands of other women who are transforming Albania into a more equal society day by day. Examples to follow, of all kinds, are very important.

Women’s empowerment - or even the empowerment of any other marginalized group - is not a mere technical action, something that is done in bureaucratic offices, but it is an act of courage - and often a resistance act.

This requires everyone to stand up and say: 'The way we did things here, in fact, was not always right.'

In a special video message, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, recalling  her last meeting with Minister Bushati, reconfirmed Sweden's support for Albania's EU integration process, as well as its democratic and economic development. Moreover, she highlighted that "together with the UN, and with all of you, we will cooperate to strengthen the rights and representation of women in Albania and to provide the right resources for all women and girls around the world "

The Sustainable Development Goals, approved two years ago, put the gender equality and empowerment of women at the heart of the Agenda 2030. Empowerment of women is a prerequisite for changing the trend of key challenges of the 21st century, such as poverty , climate change and inequality.

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