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“Equal Marathon”  in Lori 

Under the slogan “Equal participation: a strong community” the “Equal Marathon” was held in Yeghegnut, Chkalov and Lusaghbyur communities on August 17th in Lori region. The initiative aims to organize meetings in all communities where 2019 Local elections are scheduled for September 29th. Member of the National Assembly from “Bright Armenia” party Anna Kostanyan, expert, lawyer Anush Sukiasyan, representative of Lori regional administration Armen Shahverdyan joined the initiative.

 

One of the main goals of the Equal Marathon is to increase women’s involvement in local self-government, increase their participation and encourage them to run in local elections.

 

Meetings with residents in the communities of Lori showed that very few of them in the communities have any idea what the Council of Elders is, which is the function of the Council of Elders and the local self-government in general, as a citizen can participate in the local self-government processes.

 

In this respect, the Equal Marathon was very relevant and purposeful. Expert, lawyer Anush Sukiasyan presented to the residents the rules of formation of the Council of Elders, nomination of candidates and generally the issues related to the legislation, answered the questions of those present.

 

Lilit Kochinyan, Public Affairs Officer of the OxYGen Foundation, presented in her speech successful examples of other communities where the issue of water with the active participation of residents has been resolved, calling on them to be more active, to nominate active women candidates, as many future community issues depend on it.

 

For Anna Kostanyan, an MP from the “Bright Armenia” party, this was another opportunity, first of all, to encourage women’s participation in the elections, as well as to meet people and hear about their problems in person.

 

And the problems in the rural communities of Lori region are numerous and are almost indistinguishable from those of other communities. arable land, lack of grass, water, lighting, roads and many other agricultural issues.

 

If during the meeting the women in Yeghegnut had not yet decided to run in the forthcoming local self-government elections, then Chkalov already knows that there will be two women candidates, one is the current council member Hasmik Shakaryan who has decided to run again, you will hear about the other soon, said community head Roman Shakaryan.

 

The Lusaghbyur community will also have a female  candidate; They welcome the involvement of women in the council of elders, but they also add:

  • There is a big difference between women in the village and in the city. In the village, women are more anxious and difficult to get involved in public work or politics because our jobs and worries are greater.

 

But in all communities, I argue that enlargement will make it more difficult for women to be involved in the council.

 

– Women candidates are usually recognized in their community, in the villages near them they don’t know who to vote for, they know this difficulty, they think they won’t be elected, and they refuse to run, they find it senseless. The issue was addressed by Chkalov Mayor Roman Shakaryan.

 

The Equal Marathon initiative is being implemented within the framework of the Women in Politics project. The project is implemented by the UNDP Armenia and Oxygen Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia with the financial support of the Good Governance Fund of Great Britain.

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