Women to promote local democracy | EUNewsletter

Women to promote local democracy

27 March 2014

The first Community of Practice workshop of the EU-funded “Women in Local Democracy” project was held on 14 March 2014. The workshop was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration (MTA). It brought together around 60 female community leaders, representatives of regional authorities, community civic groups, representatives of local media and NGOs working in the area of gender equality.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Bradley Busetto, and the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration, Vache Terteryan welcomed workshop participants.
Hristea shared his reflection on local democracy and current condition of women’s participation in it in Armenia: ‘The Constitution of Armenia is gender sensitive, and the rights of men and women are protected equally. After independence, Armenia ratified many conventions and declarations that in some way relate to gender equality. However, as practice shows, there is always a gap between legislation and implementation; despite legislation, gender inequality persists in Armenian society. Studies and statistics show that women are under-represented in decision-making processes in Armenia at all levels’.
The aim of the “Women in Local Democracy” project is to promote Armenian women’s participation in local elections and build the capacity and knowledge of potential local female leaders through a number of capacity development activities, innovative methods and techniques; this should lead to the reduction of gender-specific constraints which women face in social and political decision-making processes in the country.
According to Terteryan, MTA is responsible for democratic policy in local areas and one of its main aims has been to enhance women’s involvement and participation in local democratic processes: ‘It is not a secret that in this area we do not have big results as of yet; however, we have a good contingent of active women working in NGOs and international organisations. Also, during past 15 years we have gained a small but very precious amount of women who are responsible for their communities’.
The two-day workshop provided an opportunity for community representatives to highlight progress and existing challenges in local governance and the advancement of gender equality at the local level, to seek solutions for enhancing inclusive and gender-balanced local governance and to identify respective capacity gaps.
Busetto mentioned that UNDP was focused on women’s empowerment because the involvement of women in all aspects of life was important for any country and society, from community-based organisations to the private sector and government. He also expressed his appreciation to all organisations involved in the project, noting that over 70% of women that underwent pre-electoral training though the programme had been elected to local councils.
The workshop was concluded with a Statement by participants to national and international actors on their aspirations with regard to participatory governance and women’s engagement in local governance in Armenia.
The “Women in Local Democracy” project has been implemented in ten regions of Armenia since April 2012, with financial support from the EU amounting to €525,000.

Women to promote local democracy

The first Community of Practice workshop of the EU-funded “Women in Local Democracy” project was held on 14 March 2014. The workshop was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration (MTA). It brought together around 60 female community leaders, representatives of regional authorities, community civic groups, representatives of local media and NGOs working in the area of gender equality. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Bradley Busetto, and the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration, Vache Terteryan welcomed workshop participants. Hristea shared his reflection on local democracy and current condition of women’s participation in it in Armenia: ‘The Constitution of Armenia is gender sensitive, and the rights of men and women are protected equally. After independence, Armenia ratified many conventions and declarations that in some way relate to gender equality. However, as practice shows, there is always a gap between legislation and implementation; despite legislation, gender inequality persists in Armenian society. Studies and statistics show that women are under-represented in decision-making processes in Armenia at all levels’. The aim of the “Women in Local Democracy” project is to promote Armenian women’s participation in local elections and build the capacity and knowledge of potential local female leaders through a number of capacity development activities, innovative methods and techniques; this should lead to the reduction of gender-specific constraints which women face in social and political decision-making processes in the country. According to Terteryan, MTA is responsible for democratic policy in local areas and one of its main aims has been to enhance women’s involvement and participation in local democratic processes: ‘It is not a secret that in this area we do not have big results as of yet; however, we have a good contingent of active women working in NGOs and international organisations. Also, during past 15 years we have gained a small but very precious amount of women who are responsible for their communities’. The two-day workshop provided an opportunity for community representatives to highlight progress and existing challenges in local governance and the advancement of gender equality at the local level, to seek solutions for enhancing inclusive and gender-balanced local governance and to identify respective capacity gaps. Busetto mentioned that UNDP was focused on women’s empowerment because the involvement of women in all aspects of life was important for any country and society, from community-based organisations to the private sector and government. He also expressed his appreciation to all organisations involved in the project, noting that over 70% of women that underwent pre-electoral training though the programme had been elected to local councils. The workshop was concluded with a Statement by participants to national and international actors on their aspirations with regard to participatory governance and women’s engagement in local governance in Armenia. The “Women in Local Democracy” project has been implemented in ten regions of Armenia since April 2012, with financial support from the EU amounting to €525,000.