Gheg Albanians: (3-,4-,3+,5,-,4-;-,1)



Index EuropeAlbania


In Albania, betrothal in early childhood was probably customary from the late 17th century till at least the early twentieth (Durham, 1908:p458-9)[1]. In 1946, “Infant betrothal was outlawed with severe punishment meted out to those who persisted in the practice”[2].


“In rural areas the tradition of very young marriages, often below the legal age of 16, is still [2001] widely practised. This is because rural life is so hard that women feel they have to marry young, before they lose their looks. Furthermore, in the north especially, an unmarried woman in the house is a potential source of shame and embarrassment lest she loses her virginity outside marriage and dishonours the family name. In these communities an unmarried girl over the age of 20 may already be the victim of malicious gossip. Therefore once a girl reaches puberty, the parents will actively look for a suitable husband”[3].





Additional refs:


§         CRLP (2000) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: East Central Europe, p13-30





Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Dec 2004


[1] Durham, M. E. (1910) High Albania and its Customs in 1908, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 40:453-72

[2] Fischer, B. J. (1999) Albanian Highland Tribal Society and Family Structure in the Process of Twentieth Century Transformation, East European Quart 33,3:281-301

[3]Renton, D. (2001) Child Trafficking in Albania, p16 [ /]