[L-I] Re: Turkey and Islamic Capitalism (with an addenda on the Balkans)

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Tue Aug 1 13:55:01 MDT 2000

>Lou Paulsen wrote:

>Another aspect of the lag in development in Kosovo, it seems to me, >was the
>low participation of women in the work force, which in turn was >related to
>the relatively cautious way in which Yugoslavia attempted to >transform
>social relations in Kosovo.  In Albania they were much more >aggressive in
>attacking the patriarchy.

>Lou Paulsen

Some related info on Albanian women:

Young, Antonia, Research Unit in South East European Studies, Bradford
University, UK

"Where law forbids inheritance through women, women may become men; the case of
northern Albania."

Article XXIX of the Kanun of Leke Dukagjini Law in Albania states: "A woman is
known as a sack made to endure as long as she lives in her husband's house." The
value of a girl traditionally lies in her purity and her willingness and ability
to work hard. The Kanun rigidly details the gendered division of labour by which
people live in the northern Albanian Alps. Men do heavy manual labour; it is
also their duty to talk, drink and smoke with visitors. They must avenge family
honour (this task is of extreme importance, taking precedence over all others).
Women's never-ending tasks are performed without machinery or running water. In
addition, they assist men at particular times such as harvesting, collecting and
transporting produce. They also spin or knit at the same time as performing
several of their regular tasks. It has been calculated that Albanian women
provide as much as 60% of the work of men in agricultural primary production
(Berit Backer, 1979) besides performing all the domestic and childcare work
within the house. "The household chores of women are not really considered as
work"(Susan Pritchett Post, 1998). Furthermore, women may be called upon to take
over completely the men's outdoor tasks in times of feud when it is unsafe for
the men to venture out of the house. In this environment where in-marrying women
have no rights, even to their own children, there is a let-out clause: they may
swear to become men for life and thus be entitled to all the rights and
privileges of men.

Anthropology of East Europe Review
Vol. 13, No. 1 Spring, 1995
Special Issue: Refugee Women of the Balkans



Dorothy Louise Zinn and Annamaria Rivera
Università degli Studi, Bari, Italy

This paper is the fruit of a preliminary inquiry into the presence of Albanian
refugee women in Southern Italy. The research is based on
participant-observation and interviews with Albanian couples the adjacent
regions of Apulia and Basilicata. While it is impossible to offer a precise
quantification of the Albanian presence, we recall that in 1991 over 40,000
refugees landed in Italy - some remaining more or less legally, others deported
- and even today, clandestine landings continue on an almost daily basis. The
two research sites were directly involved in the "crisis" of 1991, and while the
refugees were "distributed" throughout Italy, the two regions presently host
Albanians numbering in the thousands. We dealt with Albanian couples for the
simple reason that we did not locate single women to include in the study.

To contextualize our research, it is appropriate that we offer an introductory
statement which briefly illustrates the causes and circumstances which
facilitated the exodus of Albanian refugees to Italy, and in particular,
Southern Italy. The political events which took place in Albania at the end of
1990 and the traumatic changes of 1991 led not only to the fall of the Communist
regime, but also destroyed the economic system, typically based on five-year
planning. The popular reaction to the harshness and oppression of the old regime
have had as a consequence the destruction of everything that had to do with it,
economic planning. The results have been disastrous, even if some sign of
recovery is currently being registered. According to some estimates, during 1991
the public deficit reached 70% of the national income; the gross industrial
product diminished by 30%; industrial production fell circa 50% with respect to
1990; the unemployment rate, which was already 50% in 1991, soared to 70% in
1992 (Dammacco 1993).


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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