Formerly a member of the Soviet Union, the southeastern European nation of Albania has a long history of foreign alliances. Since becoming independent in the early 1990s, Albania has been plagued with high unemployment (12 percent), extensive corruption, organized crime, and outdated infrastructures. Albanians (95 percent) dominate ethnically, and those of Greek origin make up the largest minority group. Some diversity exists in religion, but 70 percent of the population are Muslim.

Women's Rights: An Uphill Struggle

Albania remains a male-dominated society, and in northeastern Albania, many males endorse the traditional Kanun code, which mandates male superiority. Since the 1990s, there has been some progress in women's rights, but major discrimination of Balkan Egyptians, Roma (gypsies), and homosexuals continues.

Forced marriages are still an issue in Albania, ...

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