Home » Side Event. Feminist approaches in alternative development: the case of Albania

Side Event. Feminist approaches in alternative development: the case of Albania

This side event is held in the margins of the 66th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and organized by GIZ’s Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD). It will present lessons and results of the project’s country activities in Albania with a focus on gender-transformative development measures in the context of drug crop cultivation. For this purpose, female farmers have been invited to talk about their experience.

The event, jointly hosted by Germany and Albania, aims to highlight the importance of a gender- transformative and inclusive approach to Alternative Development (AD), and its potential to enable better bottom-up responses to crises and more resilient societies. The session will present best practices, demonstrating how equal access to resources, economic opportunities, land, and land titles can not only change the lives of individuals but also impact power relations and structures in communities and generations to come.

Towards a gender sensitive value chain approach – the case of Albania

GIZ, Dr. Adela Llatja, Advisor, Albania

Focus on
1. Albania
2. Feminist policy approach can foster structural change
3. Thereby exploring alternative development projects

This event will focus on the intersection on gender and drug policy.

What happens when we pursue a feminist approach to alternative drug policy measures?

Burkhard Blienert, Commissioner, Federal Government for Drug and Addiction Policy, Germany:

The realization of human rights and long term equal opportunities of all people. Numbers data and people show that the so called war on drugs have failed. We need to take into account the participation of especially marginalized people and therefore particularly vulnerable to drug policy implications. Germany has a balanced drug policy approach. Humans first. Aims to curb the causes and harms of the drug economy to enable the positive development. The global drug policy needs to be holistic including the concept of alternative development. We have to able to win over Albania as a partner country since 2019.

I had the opportunity to visit Albania and some of the alternative development projects last summer. I could see on the ground how the living conditions of families and people can change when women can participate.

We have identified risk areas for illegal cannabis culture. GIZ is implementing measures on behalf of BMZ to implement legal value chains. Coca, opium, cannabis are cultivated in rural and remote areas where people live in extreme poverty. Although men and women work together in the farms, women are confronted with unequal realities and needs bc they do not have the same conditions/possibilities as men. In societies, where women can own land and take loans, have more stability and success which then makes them agents of change. The experience of German dev, women are main transformers of change from illegal to legal processes.

All of society, including women participate in all social economic and political life. Our drug policies should in alignment with the 17SDGs. Gender inequity should be worked against. Education should be explicitly provided.

H.E. Dr. Eglantina Gjermeni, Permanent Representative of Albania to the International Organizations in Vienna, Albania:

As a gender expert, woman activist, resources for education resilience;
Albania acknowledges the role of inclusive and human rights oriented drug policy increasing the resilience of women in communities.

70% of Albanian government are women.

Statistics cannot show the truth of participation of women in decision making, especially in vulnerable communities.

The lack of resources, employment opportunities (women economic empowerment)

Thereby preventing the other statistics like domestic abuse

Gender perspectives to be engineered into policy

GIZ, Dr. Adela Llatja, Advisor, Albania

Cannabis is a recent value chain
2x profit
92% of people charged for cannabis violation have no previous criminal records

75% of the land is not registered

The 3 Rs of feminist development policy

The invisible woman
All of the SDGs have targeted related to gender inequality

Statistics are misleading
More engagement we get from women the less they are present

Case study in a Jufka-based value chain : home made pasta
⁃ Input
⁃ Prodoction and processing
⁃ Packing
⁃ Retail
Women are everywhere in labor intensive
But when there is money involved it is men

They went to Debra (region in Albania).
80% is nationally protected
Lowest GDP per capita area
Lowest percentage of women in the labor market
Recruiting area for jihad terrorists
Easy entry point to illicit markets

There are no women
Where are the women on the streets
But we could hear their laughter

They were on Jufka value chain

We tried to increase value to what they did

Solution: trying to get as much economic value from the output they have from home

Reflections and lessons learned

⁃ Communities need motivation
⁃ Alternative building needs trust building
⁃ Cooperation at different levels
⁃ Market access

Money transaction is where men have been typically involved

Besfort Lamallari, Deputy Minister of Interior, Albania

Challenging the system, challenging the hierarchies, social structure, fabric
Putting women at the centre of the household
Making them become effective income generators
From a very practical POV this becomes a matter of reality, men have to accept and embrace a new reality.

If I were a boy – story from Debra

Alternative development is the best approach to follow
Of course the laws are to be respected
But we should not have a very narrow look on certain phenomenas, which deep down are social phenomena.

If we just follow the old way, we can be feeling more and more vicious cycles, prosecutions, giving records to people who are just trying to secure a living.

To also allow for media articles pointing fingers and producing and reiterating more stigma which in turn becomes more counterproductive which makes the reality a self fulfilling prophecy.

Criminalization leads to loss of opportunity

I don’t know if I qualify as a feminist but I know about this writer and that Hala and the women can warm the heart of everyone in this room.

But if feminism is about social equality, Human rights, social inclusiveness, if it is about challenging and dismantling old conventions and structures and hierarchies in this society and bringing equal footing then I fully support.

This project could really be about best practices.

It can be easy replicated but also in other areas of Albania and the region abroad.

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