Published On: 9 Shkurt, 2016



By Marsida T. Najdeni

My heart melts because of the terrible pain when on TV I hear of another Albanian woman being killed. These women are not accidentally dying, but are brutally murdered by their husbands, fathers, or other close males in their lives. It is excruciating to admit that in Albania there is a recognized trend of domestic violence against women. For a country of only 2.8 million people, domestic violence against women is as high as 56% and growing according to the National Institute of Statistics in Albania. Only these past three days two young women in their mid ‘30s were lynched and tortured by their husbands. Read my words, since I feel I cannot emphasize enough on this, lynched by their husbands. The first woman was lynched with a wire on their front yard, and the second woman was lynched with her husband’s belt. Both women were mothers. If you do not get chills by reading this, than I fear there is a loss of humanity. This might be the case, Albania a land of lost souls. Albanian men are lost in their stupid patriarchal pride of male dominance.

Let’s read Article 18 of the Albanian Constitution “all Albanian citizens are equal before the law” and “no one can unjustly be discriminated for reasons such as gender.” On paper things seem straight forward; but in real life, in the everyday life of the Albanian citizens, you will see a huge gap between a man’s life in Albania and a woman’s life. This backwardness has its roots in the deep male-controlled culture of the country. An old Albanian saying, “a man can clean himself with a glass of water, the woman cannot.” Thus, the problem is the woman, which according to this saying stands clearly below man for she is dirty. Her honor is so easily manipulated, but man in his stature is so pure that as little as a glass of water can make him true again. This ignorant mentality is carved from one generation to the other, and no one seems to care enough to change this. I have met Albanian guys born in the US or that came here at a young age, which have mentioned this old saying to me, as if there is something to be proud of. If my true me would be evaluated by a glass of water, I would be darn depressed. This is not the case with the majority of the Albanian males. They take pride in their cowardliness.

Yes, I am an Albanian woman!
No, I am not dirty!

Yes, I am an Albanian woman!
No, I am not beneath an Albanian man!

Yes, I am an Albanian woman!
No, you do not have the right to kill me!

Yes, I am an Albanian woman!
No, I am not less intelligent than you!

Yes, I am an Albanian woman,
And I am equal to my Albanian brother!

Who raised these men? Was it not our mothers and grandmothers? Was it not the Albanian women that gave life to these men by birth? If the Albanian women are giving life to these men, who are they to take life away from us? Can it be that the fault rests with the Albanian women raising violent men? Or, can it be the fact that the Albanian women in patriarchal families have no saying in the upbringing of the male child? I have met young Albanian women here in the States who have told me that in the eyes of their husbands and parents in law they were not women enough if they did not give birth to a son. As if it is the woman that decides the gender of the child. This goes on in the Albanian community in the United States, yet they still live by these old millennia rules, imagine what goes on in Albania. If their husbands wish to teach their sons something without the approval of their mothers they just can. Women are totally ignored. These are my sisters who have accepted to live under pressure and discrimination. Or, if not forced, they are brainwashed to believe that a man should be a certain way to be a true Albanian man. I do not reason that manhood can be defined via nationality. You either are a man, or you are not. Domestic violence does not proof the level of your manhood; on the contrary, it shows how weak one is. Thus, Albania is full of weak tools and real men are in minority. Please lets change these violent stats. I have the God given right to live. Let us start the revolution of fighting this old mentality by teaching our sons, brothers, fathers, and nephews otherwise. Let us give our daughters, sisters, mothers, and nieces a better life.

August 18, 2015


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