I’LL BE WITH YOU – The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans launches a campaign to fight gender-based violence and empower women.

Tirana, 5 September 2022. On the occasion of Mother Teresa’s Day in Albania, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans launches the campaign I’ll be with you, to celebrate women and promote the fight against gender-based violence and for women’s empowerment.
The campaign will be planned on RTSH, the Albanian national public network, and on the web from 5 to 19 September, and from 25 November to 10 December, starting from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.
The initiative marks 15 years of Italy’s commitment in Albania against gender based violence. The campaign presents data collected through 6 projects – not the only Italian initiatives in favour of women’s empowerment – implemented from 2007 to 2022 by two civil society organisations, CIES and COSPE, in partnership with local Albanian associations: the Vatra Centre in Vlore, Tjeter Vizion in Elbasan, Gruja tek Gruja and Centro Hapat Te Lehte in Shkodra, Shoqata Nderkomunalja in Zadrima.
10,000 women were supported. The work of 3 anti-violence shelters was sustained, as well as the social and economic reintegration of 2,500 women, with vocational training, new jobs and new micro-enterprises.
The protection and reintegration of abused women is only part of the overall Italian commitment alongside Albanian institutions and local associations. The activities financed by Italy aim at the broader strengthening of the effective respect for human rights, individual freedoms and personal dignity in the Western Balkans.
The campaign was conceived by Ernesto Spinelli, who also edited it, and was produced by the Albanian production company Anima Pictures.
The Representative of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans, Stefania Vizzaccaro, said: “First of all, let’s well set the issue. The problem is not the abused women. The problem is the violent men. The main objective of our commitment is the sustainability of the institutional capacity against gender-based violence and for women’s empowerment in the Western Balkans. Key elements of our engagement alongside Governments and civil society are: the intensification of the work with violent men, the professional training of local public and private operators, the broadest public awareness against any kind of indifference,.”
The launch of the campaign I’ll be with you by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans is the first step in the new phase of Albania-Italy development cooperation that began on 19 July 2022 with the opening of accession negotiations. The fight against gender-based violence and the promotion of women’s empowerment are a priority commitment for Italy.
For further information: tirana@aics.gov.it