Women in local democracy

What we do

UNDP has been supporting more active engagement of women in decision-making at the local level

Since its independence in 1991, Armenia has ratified over 50 Conventions and other international legal instruments reaffirming its commitment, among others, to equality between women and men, including equal representation of women in decision-making processes.

Policy changes, however, are slow to translate into the day-to-day experiences of most Armenian citizens. Consequently, the level of women’s representation and meaningful participation in governance and decision-making continues to be low.

Women comprise 11 percent of the Members of Parliament and Ministers. There are no female Governors and City Mayors, and none of the 12 communities of Yerevan have female leaders or deputies. According to the Central Election Commission (2011), women comprise barely nine per cent of representatives in local government, and out of 915 rural communities there are only 18 female community leaders.

The status quo is justified by pejorative stereotypes on the role and the position of women and men in society. These stereotypes seriously impede women’s engagement in decision-making by discouraging many of them from playing a more active role, especially in rural communities.

Funded by the European Union, UNDP's assistance is focused on:

  • Engaging women in decision-making and governance at the local level;
  • Supporting elected female representatives in executing their public duties;
  • Building mechanisms for participatory governance in communities;
  • Stimulating a national conversation on the role of women and men in Armenia.

Some results so far

Armenia’s Gender Policy Strategic Action Plan (2011-2015) came into force in 2011.

With UNDP’s support 112 female candidates have stood for positions in local government, of which 68 were (re)elected by their communities.

897 women – servants in local government, employees of local and regional administration, civic activists, and other – received knowledge on leadership, local governance, participatory processes, gender equality and other.

Participatory, gender-sensitive and inclusive governance strengthened in number of regions/communities in Armenia through (i) model of scenario-based town-hall meetings for participatory decision-making on community level, (ii) micro-referendum tool, enabling local governments in 5 communities to make inquiries among citizens on community priorities via SMS (with support of RBEC Innovation Fund).

Overall, 623 women run for elections in the big cycle of elections in 2012 of which 406 were elected, but this is still a tiny proportion of 5,384 elected representatives to the local government.

Who Finances it?


Donor name

Amount contributed per year

European Union

$ 293,141.00


$      0.00


 European Union

 $ 257,157.00


 $  98,000.00


European Union

$ 176,702.00


$    2,000.00

Delivery in previous fiscal year

December 2012

$ 206,472.28

December 2013

$ 248,599.34

Project start date:
24 April 2012
Estimated end date:
24 April 2015
Geographic coverage:
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
MDG 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women
Project Coordinator:
Natalya Harutyunyan
European Union, RA Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Territorial Administration, Armenian Association of Women with University Education, International Center of Human Development, Armenian Public Relations Association
Project Related Documents
Annual Workplan
European Union