ThinkEQUAL Conversations “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”

March 9, 2022

Yerevan, 9 March 2022 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, UNDP organized a ThinkEQUAL Conversation on the theme of “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”  The event was organized within the framework of “Women in Politics” and “Women and Youth for Innovative Local Development” projects funded respectively by the UK Good Governance Fund and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The aim of these projects is to advance the role of women and youth in local governance in nexus of women political empowerment, youth leadership, gender-sensitive local governance and participatory democracy. Both projects are implemented in partnership with the RA Ministry of Territorial Development and Infrastructure.

The “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” conversation focused on the realities of gender equality in the context of ongoing reforms in territorial-administrative and state governance sectors, as well as the country’s priorities and development challenges as a result of the double crisis and its aftermath, and the ever-changing environment.

Hambardzum Matevosyan, RA Deputy Prime Minister, Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia,  John Gallagher, UK Ambassador to Armenia, Vache Terteryan, RA Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Tatevik Stepanyan, RA Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Carolin Geginat, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia, Nazeli Baghdasaryan, Governor of Shirak region, Ruzanna Torozyan, Local Council member, Goris community, Margarita Hakobyan, Executive Director, OxYGen Foundation, Nina Pirumyan, Office of RA Human Rights Defender, and others were the key speakers at the event.  

They discussed current concepts of gender equality in Armenia, shared their vision on ways forward. The speakers touched upon all important aspects of women participation, including women’s role in peace and security, crisis response activities; political, civic, and economic empowerment of women, essentials and prerequisites of labor rights and care economy, eliminating domestic violence and challenges in the reproductive health.

The RA government and local-self-government representatives highlighted the progress of Armenia in policy reforms, including gender quota at local level, which significantly increased representation of women in local governance; progress in regard to the gender equality at national and regional levels; importance of civil society engagement as enablers at grassroot level; necessity to integrate gender equality in education, etc.  They also re-ensured the commitment to continue the efforts to increase the political participation of women at all levels and the efforts in strengthening social support schemes for women, especially vulnerable ones in the regions.

The findings from ThinkEQUAL Conversation will contribute to the ongoing projects on gender quality and women empowerment, as well as government efforts in advancement of gender equality agenda in Armenia.

ThinkEQUAL is a signature format for inspirational thematic discussions on important present-day aspects of equality. It is home for thematic discourse, stories, insights, perspectives on equality in voice, action and leadership with speakers from different walks of life. It focuses primarily on the progress, achievements, and way forward in the context of ongoing and planned development processes and emerging realities. It explores key aspects of gender equality and women empowerment, enabling factors and structural mechanisms for ensuring equal opportunities and learning paths, visible trends on equality and inclusivity.

Women leaders, national and local government counterparts, civil society organizations, interested youth from academia, professors and researchers, as well as civic activists took part in the event in an online format.