OUR FOCUS

Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment

 

Overview

During the last years, promotion of gender equality and human rights of women in Armenia has witnessed both progress and challenges. In line with its international commitments, the country has made significant strides in adopting legislative and policy reforms path to foster gender equality and to combat violence against women.

According to Human Development Indices and Indicators[1], Armenia’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.755— which put the country in the high human development category—positioning it at 83 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2017, Armenia’s HDI value increased from 0.631 to 0.755, an increase of 19.7 percent. Through the years, several indices have developed to quantify the concept of gender inequality.

UNDP uses the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and Gender Development Index (GDI), according to which out of 164 countries, Armenia’s rank for 2017 is as follows[2]:

 

Life expectancy  at birth

Expected years of schooling

Mean years of schooling

GNI per capita

HDI values

F-M ratio

 

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

GDI value

Armenia

77.8

71.4

13.4

12.6

11.7

11.7

6,358

12,281

0.740

0.764

0.969

Europe& Central Asia

77.0

69.7

13.9

14.2

9.9

10.6

10,413

20,529

0.751

0.785

0.956

High HDI

78.2

74.0

14.3

13.9

8.0

8.6

10,945

18,948

0.740

0.773

0.957

As to the GII, Armenia occupies the 55th position out of 160 countries in the 2017 index. Moreover, the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) of the World Economic Forum, which examines the gap between men and women in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment[3], attributes the highest indicators per category to the educational attainment, (35th out of 149)  while the lowest  lay with women’s political empowerment (115th) and health and survival (148th).

At the same time, the principle of equality between sexes is secured at the highest legislative level in the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia and is further reflected in the national legislation. The Government of Armenia has been taking certain steps to harmonize national policies with the gender equality principles, commitments undertaken by international instruments to which Armenia is a signatory, as well as with international requirements in the field. One significant step towards gender policy implementation was adoption of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on ensuring women and men equal rights and equal opportunities (2013)[4]. At present, the Government of Armenia is in the process of preparation of the Gender Action Plan for subsequent years.

Since 2018-2019, the RA Government has commenced a reinforcement and establishment of a series of mechanisms aimed at ensuring gender equality, such as reform of the Council on Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men, reestablishment of the Gender Thematic Group, formation of the Council on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (2018).

However, with all the on-going efforts evidence and data from studies and relevant indices  testify that there are a number of limitations en route of women empowerment and gender equality, such as: widespread negative gender stereotypes and traditional practices harmful to women (e.g. gender-based violence, sex- selective abortions, low labor force participation), which are still prevalent in the society[5]. Overall, it is safe to suggest that de jure equality has not yet led to de facto equality and women are still at a considerable disadvantage compared to men in most spheres of life.

The figures support this assumption. In particular, 37.8 percent of young women aged 15-24 are not in education, employment or training, compared to 35.4 percent of young men in the same age group (International, Labour Organization, 2016 report).  As of August 2019, in average, women hold 19 percent of management level jobs (minsters, deputy ministers, governors and deputy governors) in the Armenian public administration sector, whereas at administrative levels they occupy the majority of positions (54 percent as of 2016). Furthermore, only 24[6]percent of members of Parliament and only 9.5[7] percent of local elected office are women.

Gender inequality is most evident in rural areas, where the prospect of employment is even lower. Women living in rural areas are even more vulnerable due to the lack of access to services, including those that provide support to women at risk of domestic violence or other forms of abuse, as well as those that offer effective remedies to survivors.

In such circumstances, the role of international organizations with the strong track record of addressing issues of gender equality and women empowerment can hardly be overestimated. Working closely with the Government of Armenia, civil society and other international organizations, UNDP in Armenia implements gender-responsive and transformative solutions for women’s leadership, economic development, and their representation and participation in decision-making at local and national levels.

[1] Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update. Briefing note for countries on the 2018 Statistical Update. Armenia http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/ARM.pdf

[2] http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/ARM.pdf

[3] World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Report 2018. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_

[4] In the last five years, along with the legislative reforms, Programs aimed at strengthening the gender policy were carried out. Specifically, the 2011-2015 Strategic Program on Gender Policy and the 2011-2015 National Program on Fighting against Gender-Based Violence were of utmost significance for the RA Government. The Decree N197-L of the Government (February 28, 2019) adopted the 2019-2021 National Action Plan for the implementation of UN SC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

[5] Men and Gender equality in Armenia. Report on sociological survey findings. UNFPA, Yerevan, 2016, p.14

[6] 25 percent gender neutral quota is in place for National Assembly Election and local elections in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor cities.

[7] Community councilors.

Our commitment

Gender equality and women’s empowerment has been at the core of UNDP in Armenia’s work since its inception in 1992. UNDP promotes gender equality by integrating gender equality concerns in all areas of work, in particular, through:

-        delivering opportunities for women’s economic empowerment;

-        engaging women in decision-making in the public sector;

-        engendering public administration system in Armenia

-        exploring opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, taking into account the specific experiences and needs of women and men;

-        collaborating with the UN Agencies to address and prevent violence and all forms of discrimination against women and girls; and

-        designing interventions tailored to the specific needs of women and men from disadvantaged minority groups.

UNDP works in multidisciplinary approach for women empowerment and gender equality, with initiatives in the sphere of local governance, integrity-building, youth leadership advancement, design of innovative public services – where women drive the change.

With its signature ThinkEQUAL conversations series UNDP facilitates discourse on topics aspects of gender equality and women empowerment in different areas, including private sector, governance, creative industries and other.

2 out of 132

women candidates running for local elections, 96 were the project beneficiaries and out of 99 elected - 72 (73%) were supported by WiLD 2 project.

Explore more

Loading…
Loading…

UNDP Around the world