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 created on: Friday, October 25th, 2013

Albania, global

 Tag: ,

This article is available in:

English, Arabic

Emira is 23 years old. She works as a bartender, in a coffee shop in Tirana.

Being a woman for me is a privilege. Being a woman is an immense sacrifice, patience to move forward and dreams of being someone in the future. Being a woman for me means strength, strength to forget and forgive; strength to be close to people when they need you. And this reminds me of my mum. Even though this relationship has been the most influential in my personal growth, I cannot stop myself from recalling bad moments I have lived with my family. Till 15, my father has been the central figure of my life but this started to change. We became distant and stopped sharing conversation and this emotional gap was completed by my mother, whose role became important in the upcoming years. She still is a model for me and I must say that my perceptions about my sex and gender are strongly influenced by her and the relationship she has had with my father.

What has brought me closer to her now in the present is the fact we share a common destiny, that of being women in a country such as Albania where the old masculine domination is quite present. Even though things are evolving for better, we are faced with discrimination especially at work. I work as a bartender and believe me it is a bit difficult for my parents or my relatives to understand why I chose this job. There have been many times that I have wanted to quit, due to different forms of discrimination or prejudice coming from people who come at the bar and asking my boss why on earth has he hired a female bartender? I remember once there was a client who did not like his coffee and said to the manager: “This is what happens when you hire a woman, you lose clients. They have no idea how to prepare a coffee”. The most humiliating situation was when the manager of a bar I was working was sexually teasing me and later on fired me with the pretense that I had robbed him. Apart this a really like my job, especially the mornings; you see every day the same old couple coming taking a coffee together and complimenting you about the good taste of that espresso.

If you were to ask me about my future, I am not sure about anything. My dream is to finish the university and have a degree in International Business, hoping that it will help me find a better job and build a better future. At least I have dreams, because sometimes we can lose them as well.