Election Competition: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Issues on Party Agenda
November 29, Media Center hosted a discussion on Election Struggle: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Issues on Party Agenda.

The discussion was attended by Gayane Abrahamyan, My Step alliance, Anna Kostanyan, Bright Armenia party, Alek Yenikgomshyan, Sasna Tsrer all-Armenian party, Hripsime Arakelyan, Prosperous Armenia party, Lusine Zakalashvili, Menq alliance, Ruzanna Arakelyan, ARF party, Lusine Haroyan, National Progress party.

Alek Yenikgomshyan noted that women’s equality and rights issues should be viewed in the frames of society-state relationships. He says there are a lot of unsolved issues regarding women, but they should not be separated from the rest of the problems that exist in the society and in the state.  

“One of the threats in Armenia is the demographic disaster that should be solved jointly- by women and men. While women demand their rights and struggle to exercise them they should not ignore the critical circumstance of motherhood,” Yenikgomshyan noted.  
Anna Kostanyan, Bright Armenia candidate said that women’s engagement in electoral rolls should be 25%.
“We have a problem with the number. Gender equality being at question it is noteworthy that the conditions are unequal regarding numerical proportion. This is unequal presentation”, Kostanyan noted.
“If I am elected and go to parliament I will make sure that there will be amendments at legislative level”, said Kostanyan and added that women somehow avoid being part of election processes probably out of fear that their family and the society will not understand them.
“The challenge is to work with wider spectrums of the society, especially in regions”, Kostanyan emphasized.
Lusine Zakalashvili from Menq alliance says that the first ten names on their list include three women instead of two which testifies to the fact that gender equality plays an important part for them.
Ruzanna Arakelyan from ARF said that women’s engagement in politics should not be an end in itself.
“Politics should engage women who have potential, not only higher education but also possess political mindset, their worldview should be distinct as they are going to speak from number one platform about their country,” Arakelyan noted.
According to her in villages particularly women do not elect women. “It is not about envy, I think it is a matter of trust. In the society there still stands a layer particularly in regions who trust men. I think such psychological obstacles should be overcome via social development”.
Lusine Haroyan from National Progress party thinks that the problem should be addressed in a systematic manner. She emphasizes the Armenian citizens’ legal awareness. Each citizen must understand that they can take part in political processes.  
Gayane Abrahamyan from My Step alliance said that women’s problems are multi-layered and they can’t be solved by only solving the quota issue.
“The challenge is to break through the stereotypes and implement women’s equality and rights beyond stereotypes. Our program emphasizes this item. The bulk is included in the part regarding educational improvements that deals with women’s rights”, Abrahamyan noted.


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