Session of the “Combating Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” Project Steering Committee | EUNewsletter

Session of the “Combating Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” Project Steering Committee

16 March 2016
ARS_8752

To mark International Women’s Day the EU-funded “Combating Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” project organised an event to discuss sex-biased abortions in Armenia, and achievements and lessons learned in combating it. Partner organisations presented their initiatives targeting the cessation of gender-biased sex selection and how to optimise coordination and find synergies.
Since May 2015, the International Centre for Human Development has been implementing the project in partnership with Stichting Save the Children Nederland, Armavir Development Centre, Martuni Women’s Community Council and Save the Children International. The EU’s financial contribution to the project is €750,000; partners have allocated €42,000.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce gender-biased sex selection in Armenia. The project aims to make at least a 15% positive change in knowledge, attitude and perception of target population groups toward gender-biased sex selection, and at least a 10% reduction in the number of sex-selective abortions.
This impact will be consolidated through three major results: (i) local CSOs, community leaders and authorities are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills, and have a good understanding of the negative consequences of gender-biased sex selection; (ii) a positive change in public perception and attitude towards gender-biased sex selection is achieved; (iii) a policy framework is effective in the prevention of gender-biased sex selection.
ARS_8736The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski, also took part in the session and expressed his thoughts: ‘In a healthy society, the sex ratio should not go beyond 102 boys per 105 girls; for Armenia, the figure for boys is above 110. It is not good for the image of the country, and indeed makes the country and society suffer, as every year Armenia loses more than 1400 girls. This is bad for long-term demographic tendencies and undermines a healthy societal gender balance. Most of you know better than me how bad this phenomenon is in Armenia. The EU is here to help the Armenian government and society to solve the problem. We have already allocated €750,000 for this important project’.
The Armenian Deputy Minister of Health, Sergey Khachatryan, also stressed the project’s importance: ‘It is symbolic organising this event on 9 March, the day after International Women’s Day. We have to work every day on raising women’s issues, not only on 8 March. Today we are going to talk about the results of the project so far, which are the most important part of the work we have done together. We have already noticed positive changes in the numbers and I am sure that we will have more achievements soon’.
Filaret Berikyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, emphasised the importance of the society’s inclusiveness in solving the problem: ‘When we saw the numbers on this issue for the first time, we were so surprised. However, over the last two years, together with CSOs and project partners, we were able to change public opinion. I can notice it in my own surroundings now. Of course, the legislative part is very important for this issue, but we have also to evaluate the role of public campaigns and discussions’.

Session of the “Combating Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” Project Steering Committee

To mark International Women’s Day the EU-funded “Combating Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” project organised an event to discuss sex-biased abortions in Armenia, and achievements and lessons learned in combating it. Partner organisations presented their initiatives targeting the cessation of gender-biased sex selection and how to optimise coordination and find synergies. Since May 2015, the International Centre for Human Development has been implementing the project in partnership with Stichting Save the Children Nederland, Armavir Development Centre, Martuni Women’s Community Council and Save the Children International. The EU's financial contribution to the project is €750,000; partners have allocated €42,000. The overall objective of the project is to reduce gender-biased sex selection in Armenia. The project aims to make at least a 15% positive change in knowledge, attitude and perception of target population groups toward gender-biased sex selection, and at least a 10% reduction in the number of sex-selective abortions. This impact will be consolidated through three major results: (i) local CSOs, community leaders and authorities are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills, and have a good understanding of the negative consequences of gender-biased sex selection; (ii) a positive change in public perception and attitude towards gender-biased sex selection is achieved; (iii) a policy framework is effective in the prevention of gender-biased sex selection. ARS_8736The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski, also took part in the session and expressed his thoughts: 'In a healthy society, the sex ratio should not go beyond 102 boys per 105 girls; for Armenia, the figure for boys is above 110. It is not good for the image of the country, and indeed makes the country and society suffer, as every year Armenia loses more than 1400 girls. This is bad for long-term demographic tendencies and undermines a healthy societal gender balance. Most of you know better than me how bad this phenomenon is in Armenia. The EU is here to help the Armenian government and society to solve the problem. We have already allocated €750,000 for this important project'. The Armenian Deputy Minister of Health, Sergey Khachatryan, also stressed the project’s importance: 'It is symbolic organising this event on 9 March, the day after International Women's Day. We have to work every day on raising women’s issues, not only on 8 March. Today we are going to talk about the results of the project so far, which are the most important part of the work we have done together. We have already noticed positive changes in the numbers and I am sure that we will have more achievements soon'. Filaret Berikyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, emphasised the importance of the society's inclusiveness in solving the problem: 'When we saw the numbers on this issue for the first time, we were so surprised. However, over the last two years, together with CSOs and project partners, we were able to change public opinion. I can notice it in my own surroundings now. Of course, the legislative part is very important for this issue, but we have also to evaluate the role of public campaigns and discussions'.