#WAVEmembers: Women Center Light Steps, Albania
The Women Center Light Steps was established in 2003 in Albania, in order to create a public, open and safe space where women of the city could meet, could be together and freely express themselves. Later, based on women’s demand, the kindergarten service and anti-violence service were created too. This led to the birth of the first women bar in the city and the first feminist open library for the women of all Northern Albania.
The Women Center Light Steps is a non-profit organization with 25 members that work together for the same goal, in an atmosphere of collaboration and shared responsibilities. The Center has a Directive Committee Board composed of 5 persons and the president, each of them elected every 3 years.
The main mission of the Centre focuses on promoting and protecting human and especially women’s rights. This is achieved through several activities that are focused on:
- Eliminating barriers to equal participation of men and women in all aspects of economic, political and social life in Northern Albania.
- Preventing gender-based violence and providing protection to the women and children survivors of violence.
- Promoting and providing equal access to quality information, affordable services and supplies to vulnerable groups, with special attention given to women, children and also informal communities established in the Northern region of Albania.
The name of the center ‘Light Steps’ reflects its philosophy: to help and empower other women, to make their life light and easy. Conscious of the fact that the patriarchal culture has put on women’s shoulders lots of responsibilities and burden, the Center wants to help women alleviate this burden and make them walk with light steps.
To achieve this. Light Steps is offering:
- Community work – decentralizing services of the Center in more marginalized and rural areas, where public services are not available.
- Institutional work – continuous lobby and advocacy actions, to hold public institutions responsible for their duties with regard to guarantee gender equality and equity; additionally, trainings for public officials about human and women rights and gender-based violence are organized.
- finally, the Center works directly with women, to empower them at socio-economical levels.
All the projects carried out by Light Steps reflect its mission and goal. Furthermore, in the last years, they have carried out several actions focussing on kids, schools and boys. They believe that “if we want to reach gender equality in our society, we have to involve also men and above all start early”.
Currently, the Women Center has implemented projects in the field of human rights that have covered territories from all Northern Albania such as Shkoder, Puke, Fushe-Arrez,Vua Dejës, Malesi e Madhe and Tropoje, making the Center a focal point for the entire region. The following services are offered by the Center in the territory: Anti-violence service for women and children survivors of domestic violence; information service about rights and reproductive health; daily- Kindergarten service; socio-economic counselling services; trainings and informational services; last but not least, a feminist library service.
The Women’s Center Light Steps recently joined the WAVE Network in January 2020. We are happy to have you on board!
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