On April 5, Media Center hosted a discussion-press-conference, “Prior to Municipal Elections: Women’s Involvement in Political Processes”.
Among the invited speakers were Republican Karine Achemyan, Heritage's Anahit Bakhshyan, Prosperous Armenia party (PAP) members Elinar Vardanyan and Tamar Poghosyan, Rule of Law (OEK) member Julieta Tadevosyan, Dashnak Ruzan Arakelyan, UN Special Rapporteur Gyulnara Shahinyan, ProMedia Gender NGO leader Tamara Hovnatanyan, who mostly touched upon gender equality and the importance of women's involvement in politics.
According to Republican MP Karine Achemyan, the Republican Party is very cautious about involving women in politics, but over the recent years has doubled the number of its women members.
Heritage party member Anahit Bakhshyan says the law has no force in any of the fields, neither does it work when it comes to women's presence.
“The issue is about women, too. They do not trust themselves; do now know what potential they have. It comes from the family, the husband who could believe in and encourage you. But how many men in our country can encourage their wives?” said Bakhshyan.
PAP member Tamar Poghosyan says in terms of decision-making there is gender equality issue in all countries. “The situation at hand is the result of men being in charge, being responsible. The best institute to promote women in politics is proportionate party lists, where there is team support.”
Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun faction MP Ruzan Arakelyan said there are many women with university education in Armenia, but the social burden hinders their self-expression and career growth.
“I am against the discussion being about women versus men. A woman's role should be discussed in relation to women-related issues,” she says.
Arakelyan believes that in case of a woman in charge, laws are enforced more effectively.
“I think when women come to power, laws would become more efficient and we would have a different country in terms of social welfare and development. A woman leader would want to carry out a social revolution to make the country a better-provided place to live for her child,” she says with certainty.
PAP faction MP Elinar Vardanyan believes the woman's role in politics should not be an end in itself.
“Usually, much more is expected from women, and their mistakes are not easily forgiven and can be remembered even after five years,” she says, adding that “women’s presence in the parliament changes the overall atmosphere, making it more tolerant”.
Summing up her speech, Achemyan stressed that regardless of gender, an official must be honest, decent and fulfill his/her duties.
Full video footage of the press-conference cab be found at following link.