On March 8, at the RA NA Gilded Hall on the initiative of the RA National Assembly and the OxYGen Foundation the event titled Civil Society-National Assembly Cooperation Platform for Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities of Women and Men , where the deputies, the representatives of the international and local NGOs, mass media and the experts of the sphere took part.
The RA NA Deputy Speaker Lena Nazaryan delivered welcoming remarks.
The Executive Director of OxYGen Foundation Margarita Hakobyan has noted that the goal of the event is to create a cooperation platform between the political forces represented in the National Assembly and the NGOs for providing a continuous dialogue on equal rights and equal opportunities between women and men. She expressed hope that it would be a constructive opportunity to solve the problems in the sphere. According to Margarita Hakobyan, their organization highlights the provision of equal rights and opportunities in our country, the women’s participation in the political processes is considered to be one of the priorities of the organization. The speaker distinguished in a number of programs being implemented by their organization particularly The Elaboration of the Women’s Agenda for the Development of the Country . She has noted that after the velvet revolution the implementation of those programs is of significance and had got a new impetus. Margarita Hakobyan talked about the importance of raising the women’s involvement in the political processes and had indicated the obstacles existing on that path.
According to the Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Swedish Kingdom Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, in 2018 Armenia could send a powerful address to the world, once again strengthening the democracy, the priority of the human rights and law, could show that the positive change without losses was possible. She expressed conviction that the newly elected parliament and the representatives of the civil society would closely cooperate to provide better future for the RA citizens.
As the Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament has noted, the International Women’s Day also makes an attempt to disclose and indicate the challenges, which face the women not only in Armenia, but also in the whole world. “We shall create political alliances between the political factions and parties, we shall be able to overcome the challenges in cooperation,” she said. Underlining that Sweden has a sufficient progress in this sphere, Lotta Johnsson Fornarve has stated that, nevertheless, the works are still a lot.
In her welcoming remarks the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Judith Margareth Farnworth has underlined that this platform is an additional opportunity for fully using the women’s potential. She has noted that there is effective cooperation in terms of the implementation of the programmes with the new government, particularly strengthening the women’s participation in the sphere of politics.
In their speeches the NA deputies Gayane Abrahamyan, Naira Zohrabyan, Mane Tandilyan, Shake Isayan, Arpine Davtyan, Maria Karapetyan, as well as the representatives of the NGOs touched upon the civil society-National Assembly cooperation, the necessity of providing equal rights and opportunities of women and men. They talked about the inequality existing in the issue for protection of women’s rights in the labour market, presented the implemented international researches in the sphere. The implementation of the steps taken for the change of the way of thinking of the society and the rise of the women’s self-esteem was highlighted. In the development of the state the women’s engagement in different spheres was especially underlined. The participants talked about the link between the civil society and the state institutes, emphasizing the effective state administration. It has also been noted that the women’s presentation in the local self-government is very low. The speakers welcomed and highlighted the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at the end of the event.
Within the framework of the theme The Women’s Role in Politics: Presentation of the Swedish Experience Lotta Johnsson Fornarve presented the ways of boosting the gender equality in different spheres in her country. She informed that the women’s number in the Swedish Parliament had increased, reaching 46%.
At the end of the meeting the Deputy Speaker of the RA National Assembly Lena Nazaryan and the Executive Director of OxYGen Foundation Margarita Hakobyan signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Its goal is to combine the forces of the parliament and the NGOs being engaged with the women’s problems for providing equal rights and opportunities of women and men.
The event was implemented within the framework of the programme Equal: Boosting the Women’s Political Participation at National Level , with the financial support of the Swedish Government. The OxYGen Foundation implements the programme cooperating with ProMedia-Gender NGO.