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Consequences of enlargement: among the community leaders women make 1.6%, among the community members – 10%

The process of enlargement of communities will be completed in Armenia for another year. Opinions, comments, and commentary since the start of the project were divided into two parts, strictly opposed and upheld. In the context of gender equality, the enlargement of the communities had a negative impact, as not only number of female community leaders, but also women’s representation in the council of elders decreased.

 

According to data provided by WomenNet.am by the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, there are currently 502 communities in Armenia, of which 52 are united communities. The total number of community council members is 3849, of which 389 are women, i.e. representation of women is 10%, which is lower than 12% recorded in the 2016 election results. It is obvious that the decrease was due to the enlarged communities where the number of women councils decreased by at least 2-3 times.

 

The same can be said about community leaders, including 17 women by the results of 2016 elections. Today, only 8 out of 502 community leaders are women (1.6%), and one of them is the mayor of the community.

 

Despite according to the government’s program, the process of enlargement of communities should be completed in 2019, the number of communities and the number of communities uniting in 2018 is unknown. “These issues are currently being discussed. It will be possible to speak about it from the moment of elaborating and circulating the RA Law on Making Amendments and Addenda to the RA Law on Administrative and Territorial Division, “Minister of Territorial Administration and Development told WomenNet.am.

 

The Human Rights Defender touched upon the reduction of the number of women in the local self-governing bodies as a result of the enlargement, in the annual broadcast of his recent release. The Defender draws attention to the low level of representation of women in local self-governing bodies. “The study indicates that the trend of  decrease in the number of women registered in the elections for the year 2016 at least 2-3 times has been maintained in 2017,” says the annual report.

 

The Ombudsman advocates systematic steps:

 

emphasize the importance of women’s role, women’s political involvement and the importance of women’s participation in public life raising the level of women’s political and legal awareness, promoting the development of professional knowledge and skills on the political system, processes and effective decision-making procedures for young women, ensuring equal conditions for political competition women’s awareness of their rights through mass media, regular discussions and seminars.

 

Full text in Armenian

 

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