Albania’s is one of the largest gender gaps in Europe, says watchdog organization

In terms of gender equity, Albania is at the bottom of Europe. This is made apparent by the publication of the Gender Equity Index (GEI) 2012, launched on the eve of the International Women’s Day by Social Watch, an international network of civil society organizations with members in over 70 countries in all regions.

The GEI prepared annually by Social Watch measures the gap between women and men in education, economy and political empowerment. The index is an average of the inequalities in the three dimensions. In literacy, it examines the gender gap in enrolment at all levels; economic participation computes the gaps in income and employment; empowerment measures the gaps in highly qualified jobs, parliament and senior executive positions.

The best and worst 15 countries in the GEI 2012

With 55 points, Albania ranks among those countries with VERY LOW GEI, remarkably far behind the European average (73 points). It is among the three worst in Europe, together with Malta (63) and Turkey (45). In the global ranking, the country occupies the 111th place. At a global level, Albania’s GEI matches those of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lebanon and Zimbabwe.

The global GEI 2012 ranking is led by Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand and Mongolia, all of them with more than 80 GEI points, which place them as countries with a MEDIUM GEI.

The five levels according to which the IEG measures the gender gap are: CRITICAL, VERY LOW, LOW, MEDIUM and ACCEPTABLE. It should be noted that no country has reached 90 points or more, meaning that no country has yet reached the ACCEPTABLE level.

The index measures the gap between women and men, not their well-being. Thus, a country in which young men and women have equal access to the university receives a value of 100 on this particular indicator. In the same fashion, a country in which boys and girls are equally barred from completing primary education would also be awarded a value of 100. This does not mean that the quality of education in both cases is the same. It just establishes that, in both cases girls are not less educated than boys.

The only dimension in which Albania reaches an acceptable value is education (94 points), while in empowerment and economic participation the country’s performance is much less praiseworthy: 13 and 57 respectively (CRITICAL and VERY LOW).


Out of the 154 countries with a global value in the 2012 IEG those five in the worst global situation are the Republic of Congo (29), Niger (26), Tchad (25), Yemen (24) and Afghanistan (15).

Social Watch members are spread across all regions. The network fights for the eradication of poverty and its causes, the elimination of all forms of discrimination and racism and to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and the realization of human rights.

For a detailed description of methodology sources see