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Women in the Albanian media: From re-victimization to stigmatization as immoral

Women in the Albanian media: From re-victimization to stigmatization as immoral

This form of reporting is not a new phenomenon.

Emiljano Kaziaj, media expert and program manager at IREX, said that he has worked on two studies on hate speech and unethical language in the Albanian media in 2018 and 2020.

"In 2020, 293 articles were identified that contained unethical language, including hate speech, sexist and discriminatory content," Kaziaj told BIRN.

"These kinds of bullying and shameful articles portray women and girls, the stereotypes associated with them and their realities from a point of view that is wrong," he said. "Second, these articles reinforce some misconceptions and damaging mentalities about girls and women."

Continuous reporting in this way "has real consequences for girls and women in daily life".

"The way the audience sees girls and women portrayed in the media, affects the way we treat girls and women in families, communities, our workplaces, personal relationships, etc. "There is no doubt that such articles reinforce patriarchal ideas in Albania."

Overall, gender stereotyping is a widespread phenomenon in the Albanian media; a 2020 study published by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung found that televisions tend to report "more on women as mothers, housewives or as wives, based on their appearance, beauty and appearance".

Women and girls are portrayed mainly as victims and are "much less present in the political news," the report said. The analysis conducted by BIRN shows the same trajectory; between December 1, 2021 and April 1, 2022, 312 men and only 56 women were invited to discussion panels in the six main political shows on Albanian television.

This prejudicial perspective is also noticed in the way the local media have reported on Albanian girls who choose to rest or live and work in places like Dubai.

Shumë prej artikujve guxojne të aludojnë mbi moralin e vajzave në fjalë. Si në rastin e Adela Kodres, blogere dhe modele shqiptare e cila postonte shpesh në rrjetet sociale foto nga pushimet në Dubai. Postimet e saj u pasuan nga tituj viral në portale si “Modelja shqiptare ‘çmend sheikët’ e Dubait” dhe “Eskortë në Dubai?”

“Jam abuzuar shumë nga mediat online. Fotot e mia janë shfaqur edhe gjatë diskutimeve televizive në një kontekst të shëmtuar”, tha 22-vjeçarja Kodra, modele dhe studente në vitin e tretë të gazetarisë.

“Unë isha me pushime, të cilat i pagova përmes reklamave, klering, por u aludua dhe interpretua nga mediat si imoralitet. Duket sikur kanë një rregull të ri, sipas të cilit nëse shkon në Dubai, u ke dhënë mediave të drejtën të të kategorizojnë në një formë të caktuar.”

These articles pushed Kodra to give up social networks and change careers.

"I do not know what I did wrong, but I felt tremendous pressure," she told BIRN. "My parents are still in shock. I decided to change profession. "It is very difficult to cope emotionally," said Kodra. "I do not understand how the media got the right to write what they want without relying on information or facts."

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