Tag Archives: Council of Europe

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950 to bring the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. The EU Delegation to Armenia organised on International Human Rights Day this year a public debate entitled “Women as an Active Part of the Civil Society”. The Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Dirk Lorenz, attended the event and, on behalf of the European Union, announced the EU determination to remain key partner for Armenia in various areas of development: ‘Gender equality is an issue which is very high on the EU agenda. In this regard we are working with the government, as well as with civil society. We have initiated a number of projects aimed at combating violence against women; within the scope of our efforts we are providing financial support to civil society organisations to raise awareness and provide adequate support. Additionally, we have launched another project aimed at decreasing selective abortions, which is sadly a common issue in the country’. He highlighted that the EU intended to foster economic growth in Armenia and that it evaluates women’s rights as an important step in societal development.

International Human RIghts Day lecture (2)The Head of Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, Olexander Pavlyuk, highlighted the importance of similar discussions and talked about the active participation of the Council of Europe in women’s rights promotion: ‘The Council of Europe considers women’s rights and gender equality as integral parts of human rights. The Armenian government should give priority to the development of efficient gender-equality strategies. On 1 August a legal treaty was issued by the Council of Europe – a convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence. This is the first instrument in Europe of its kind: it is aimed at preventing violence and promoting equality between women and men’.

Participants in the public debate expressed hope that preventing violence against women would stay on the table of discussions and would remain a high priority as an integral aspect of human rights. They also added that they hoped the public debate would become a milestone on the path of promoting women’s rights in the country.

UN Resident Coordinator (a.i.) Henriette Ahrens spoke further on women’s rights in Armenia: ‘UNICEF looks forward to further implementation of the law on preventing domestic violence and violence against women. In contemporary society, men are seen as protectors and security enablers. Women are valued less, in fact they are frequently considered to be tools for taking care of children. The UN significantly contributes to raising women’s role in the economic and political life of the country’.

UN Women UK representative Tuula Nieminen (1)
The keynote speaker of the event, UN Women UK representative Tuula Nieminen, gave a presentation entitled “Women’s rights are human rights”, which showed opportunities for making gender equality a reality: ‘Women rights are human rights; in order to protect women rights it is crucial to comprehend relations between social institutions and the government, which in fact affect economy, social dynamics, family and community life. Gender stereotypes should be broken so that women can be perceived as they are, along with their needs and wishes.