Due to its universal presence, with resident offices in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP is well positioned to comprehensively address and advance gender equality. The only UN agency with a broad development mandate, UNDP acts as a neutral facilitator to broker dialogues among different actors and foster partnerships with central line ministries and other government institutions to promote legal and policy reforms for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
While advancement of gender equality has been highlighted by the government as a development priority of Armenia, there remain several steps before fully eliminating persisting gender gaps. Furthermore, commitment to advance gender equality has yet to be fully recognized as a catalytic measure for development and translated into Armenia’s development policies.
Gender Development Index
In the 2014 Human Development Report, a new measure, the Gender Development Index (GDI), was introduced. The GDI measures gender inequalities in achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: health (measured by female and male life expectancy at birth), education (measured by female and male expected years of schooling for children and mean years for adults aged 25 years and older); and command over economic resources (measured by female and male estimated GNI per capita). The 2014 female HDI value for Armenia is 0.734 in contrast with 0.728 for males, resulting in a GDI value of 1.008.
Gender Inequality Index
The 2010 HDR introduced the Gender Inequality Index (GII), which reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. Reproductive health is measured by maternal mortality and adolescent birth rates; empowerment is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by women and attainment in secondary and higher education by each gender; and economic activity is measured by the labor market participation rate for women and men. Armenia has a GII value of 0.318, ranking it 62 out of 155 countries in the 2014 index: 10.7 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 94.0 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 95.0 percent of their male counterparts.
What we do
Gender and Sustainable Development
For UNDP, creating equal opportunities for women and men is critical for equitable, sustainable economic development and poverty reduction. UNDP continues to strengthen local and national capacities to foster women’s participation in income-generation initiatives and boost economic empowerment by exploring closer collaboration with the government, public and private partners.
Gender and Democratic Governance
UNDP prioritizes women’s empowerment by increasing their representation and participation in decision-making processes. UNDP supports processes that promote people’s expectations for voice, accountability, transparency, and protection of human rights. Additionally, UNDP is engaged in fostering a broader capacity on the ground for more gender-sensitive and gender-responsive results through the following initiatives:
· Human Rights and anti-corruption;
· Border management;
· Citizen engagement.
There are also two stand-alone gender objectives that UNDP’s Armenia Country Programme is working towards:
· Increasing women’s participation in decision-making;
· Evidence-based national strategies and partnership to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Gender and Environmental Resilience
UNDP prioritizes gender equality in environmental sustainability and resilience building. UNDP makes increased efforts to capacitate broader equality, inclusion, and opportunities for women and men in relation to environmental sustainability, resilience building, climate change adaptation and mitigation, green economy, green jobs, and environmental education. UNDP promotes gender-responsive and gender transformative development changes on the ground, focusing on the following:
· Inclusion of gender equality principles in disaster and climate risk reduction policies, plans and budgetary frameworks;
· Collection, analysis and utilization of disaggregated data to assess disaster risk from a gender perspective.
To support Armenia in ensuring the irreversibility of gender-sensitive development results, UNDP commits itself to an ambitious goal of creating a critical mass of women leaders at local level, with a target of up to 20 percent elected women as community heads and/or local council members by end 2020. UNDP also aims to scale up the innovative models of citizen engagement in local-level decision-making, and support the institutional framework and policy reform processes for the advancement of gender equality, especially at the community level.
Some results so far
- In 2016 fall cycle of municipal elections, out of 694 female candidates 202 were Women in Local Democracy (WiLD) and WiLD2 projects beneficiaries, 178 of which got elected to Community Councils.
- In 2015-16, ENPARD project developed and applied gender and age responsive methodology to select beneficiary producer groups, which helped ensure 30 percent threshold representation of women and youth in the project. Thus, 43 percent of 69 producer groups were women-led; out of the total number of 1,109 producer group members, 36 percent were women and 32 percent were youth.
- In 2015-16, women have been a special focus of all the income-generation initiatives in the Integrated Support to Sustainable Rural Development project, starting from the stage of planning up to the design of community-based projects. Out of 18 community meetings within the scope of income-generation project 8 were held only with women to provide an opportunity for local women to voice their needs and offer solutions without pressure and social limitations.
- About 3000 women (elected or working in local government, local activists, and journalists) received training on participatory governance, gender equality and leadership.
- Support to the development of the comprehensive Gender Policy Concept Paper (2010) and the Law “On State Guarantees of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women” (2013).
- UNDP has strengthened the risk reduction skills and knowledge of the government by integrating gender equality principles into national and local action plans. This included raising awareness among authorities and society about gender dimensions of disasters and introducing gender-responsive measures.
- Out of 135 women candidates in the 2012-2015 local elections, 82 were elected as heads of their communities or as local council members.
- All new project and programmatic documents and strategies are gender-mainstreamed, overseen by a stand-alone gender team chaired by senior management.
- All UNDP in Armenia communications content, and recruitment and procurement processes conducted according to strict gender guidelines.
- All staff received learning opportunities related to gender equality, and a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment was formalized within the working environment.
- Participatory and gender-sensitive decision-making models were introduced in communities, and local advisory working groups were created and trained on a scenario-based Town Hall Meeting methodology (143 men and 121 women beneficiaries).
- Public awareness and discourse carried out on the role of women and men in Armenian society through broad use of mass media (talk shows, TV programs, films) and online social platforms (Facebook, blogs and Openarmenia.com).