Published on: 08 March 2017

Speech of Minister Ditmir Bushati on the occasion of International Women’s Day

Good evening everyone,

I would like to dwell on a little bit today to reflect on the role women have in this institution. We are not gathered here neither to celebrate nor to take pride of the high quotas in the foreign service of women.

The 8th of March is usually a day of protest, but we should not overlook the fact that the last three decades of the Albanian diplomacy undoubtedly belong to women.

Despite the communist regime's propaganda on women’s emancipation, in 1990 this institution had only two female diplomats.

Today the whole picture is quite different: approximately one of two diplomats is a woman. Over 52% of executive positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are headed by women. Meanwhile over 25% of the diplomatic missions are headed by women.

But I do not think it is right dwelling only at these pink quotas. Because the cause of equality should not be disordered with statistics.

Undoubtedly we have today a governmental cabinet with the largest number of women in Albania’s history and also a significant increase of women in the parliament and municipal councils. But above all what matters most to me are the role models that our society looks up to.

While on consultations on how to assign the names of reconstructed halls of the Ministry, I was impressed by the fact that colleagues had only proposed names of distinguished men.

But we all know that on the first Albanian attempts to structure national consciousness, women have a special role. It is even quite reasonable to say that to some extent personalities such as Elena Gjika or Edith Durham have been our first ever diplomats. Therefore, I would like to propose today that one of the halls of the Ministry to be named after Elena Gjika to precisely honor this contribution.

During these years in duty I have noticed that women are more capable on handling complex missions which require not only analytical skills, but above all seek more dignified representation.

Today we have women ambassadors in Washington, the UN, EU, OSCE, Rome, Athens or important departments headed by women such as the State Protocol or Public Diplomacy.

As you know, Albania is party to several international conventions on women's rights and principally de jure our constitutional and legal framework offers all equality conditions.

But this should not make us forget the fact that Albanian women are probably one of the groups that suffered disproportionately during and after wars and conflicts in the region.

We must not forget the tragedy of thousands women being brutally abused during the Kosovo war.

Therefore, I shall ask you today that the dimension of women in conflict zones and the role of women in overcoming conflicts to be a present dimension in your daily work, and in your analysis of the situation of Albanian women in the region.

Due to my political activity, I met yesterday in Zogaj, Velipoja and Shkodra hundreds of women who are today successful role models in economy, civil society, or in education.

The Diaspora Summit which we organized last year showed us that we have such role models among our community abroad.

These role models are part of our national identity and a greater warranty that we could have a more peaceful, fairer and prosperous society.

Thank you!

Recent news

No results found