Pledge for parity | EUNewsletter

Pledge for parity

17 March 2016
ARS_8919

This year, International Women’s Days on 8 March, has been devoted to parity. Therefore, on 11 March, the EU Delegation to Armenia organised a visit for the Ambassador to Armenia’s third city – Vanadzor in Lori region. Ambassador Piotr Świtalski spent the day with women involved in local politics, small business owners, women farmers, and dairy producers. They discussed women’s roles and rights in Armenian society, as well as the success and achievements of women-owned businesses in Lori region. A symbolising aspect of this meeting was that it took place in the ‘Salute’ café; this café was set up with EU technical assistance as part of the ‘Social and economic empowerment of women in Armenia’ project.
Furthermore, the Ambassador gave a speech on the EU’s promotion of women’s rights: ‘I am here to talk about the pledge for parity and the EU’s commitment to the advancement to the rights of women. For us, for the EU, 8 March is not only about presents, congratulations and best wishes, it is an occasion to talk about how to close the gender gap in Armenia, how to eliminate any forms of discrimination of women, and how to promote women’s involvement in politics, business, and all other aspects of social life. My presence here is a testimony of how important this is for us. This importance is based on three considerations. The first is that we believe that Armenia, to move forward, needs to use all of its untapped potential; we consider Armenian women as the biggest source of that unused potential, energy, creativity and talent. There are still few women in Armenia who are engaged in politics or local government. The second reason is that there are still areas where women are discriminated against – in terms of gender equality Armenia ranks 62nd in the world.. There are aspects where Armenia is doing very well, for example, education, but there are other aspects, for example domestic violence, that need to be solved. The third reason is that there is a deficit of trust in Armenia – too many Armenians don’t trust politicians, courts, or even news on TV. No society will move forward without trust. The advantage of women is that, by genetics, they are more trustful. If a society wants to build more public trust, it should involve women in leadership positions’.
ARS_9076After the Ambassador’s speech, beneficiaries of various EU-funded projects made presentations, talked about their activities and involvement in social and political life of their communities, as well as achievements in their own small businesses. They also discussed how the EU could provide further help and support.
For example, Sona Asryan from the village of Odzun expressed how she had taken her first steps in politics with the help of the EU project: ‘I am a member of Odzun’s City Council, and since 2012 I have participated in the EU’s different projects. With the help of the project I have made a campaign for the elections, become more presentable, and now I am more confident during council sessions and make my voice heard. There are 11 City Council members and I am the only woman among them’.
After these talks and discussions, Ambassador Świtalski concluded the day by visiting two community businesses in dairy products and silver production that were established through EU technical and financial support.

Pledge for parity

This year, International Women’s Days on 8 March, has been devoted to parity. Therefore, on 11 March, the EU Delegation to Armenia organised a visit for the Ambassador to Armenia’s third city – Vanadzor in Lori region. Ambassador Piotr Świtalski spent the day with women involved in local politics, small business owners, women farmers, and dairy producers. They discussed women's roles and rights in Armenian society, as well as the success and achievements of women-owned businesses in Lori region. A symbolising aspect of this meeting was that it took place in the ‘Salute’ café; this café was set up with EU technical assistance as part of the ‘Social and economic empowerment of women in Armenia’ project. Furthermore, the Ambassador gave a speech on the EU’s promotion of women’s rights: ‘I am here to talk about the pledge for parity and the EU’s commitment to the advancement to the rights of women. For us, for the EU, 8 March is not only about presents, congratulations and best wishes, it is an occasion to talk about how to close the gender gap in Armenia, how to eliminate any forms of discrimination of women, and how to promote women’s involvement in politics, business, and all other aspects of social life. My presence here is a testimony of how important this is for us. This importance is based on three considerations. The first is that we believe that Armenia, to move forward, needs to use all of its untapped potential; we consider Armenian women as the biggest source of that unused potential, energy, creativity and talent. There are still few women in Armenia who are engaged in politics or local government. The second reason is that there are still areas where women are discriminated against – in terms of gender equality Armenia ranks 62nd in the world.. There are aspects where Armenia is doing very well, for example, education, but there are other aspects, for example domestic violence, that need to be solved. The third reason is that there is a deficit of trust in Armenia – too many Armenians don’t trust politicians, courts, or even news on TV. No society will move forward without trust. The advantage of women is that, by genetics, they are more trustful. If a society wants to build more public trust, it should involve women in leadership positions’. ARS_9076After the Ambassador’s speech, beneficiaries of various EU-funded projects made presentations, talked about their activities and involvement in social and political life of their communities, as well as achievements in their own small businesses. They also discussed how the EU could provide further help and support. For example, Sona Asryan from the village of Odzun expressed how she had taken her first steps in politics with the help of the EU project: ‘I am a member of Odzun’s City Council, and since 2012 I have participated in the EU's different projects. With the help of the project I have made a campaign for the elections, become more presentable, and now I am more confident during council sessions and make my voice heard. There are 11 City Council members and I am the only woman among them’. After these talks and discussions, Ambassador Świtalski concluded the day by visiting two community businesses in dairy products and silver production that were established through EU technical and financial support.