Accepted paper:

Gender, law and transition in Albania: understanding the influence of the new domestic violence prevention policy in a global health setting

Author:

Sarah Orndorff (Washington, DC)

Paper short abstract:

Domestic violence is an important problem now garnering more global health attention. In Albania, this is especially true given the country's recently enacted "Measures Against Family Violence." This timely study intends to relate a greater understanding of this new policy as it stands at the intersection of anthropology and global public health.

Paper long abstract:

Domestic violence is an important public health problem now garnering more global health attention, particularly with the newly established UN agency, UN Women. In Albania, this is especially true given the country's recently enacted and very progressive, "Measures Against Family Violence." In Albania, a country little studied in anthropological circles due to its decades long closed borders, the problem of domestic violence is both underreported and yet anecdotally widespread and deeply ingrained in some traditional views on family and honor. Given the country's developmental status as one of the poorest globally, it is currently seeking inclusion into the European Union. Since the fall of its longheld dictator, the country has undergone massive transition. It has developed an eager yet unstable market economy which is striving to escape corruption, constructed newly paved highways which are currently expanding and instituting telecommunications capabilities which are evolving at a dizzying pace. In these ways, the country inches toward EU ideals while still deeply agrarian. Importantly the country has made impressive progress recently by passing this new national policy and strengthening its legal foundation but this has been primarily through the impetus of international funding, namely USAID. The policy has great implications for the health and welfare of victims of violence, and gender relations more generally, but its abilities are deeply affected by the whims of international development. This timely study intends to relate a greater understanding of this new policy as it stands at the intersection of anthropology and global public health.

panel LD06
Anthropologies in and of public health in the 21st century