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CSW 63. “Gender Equality Is a Matter of Power”

The 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women is being held in New York this week at the UN Headquarters. It started on March 11 and will last until March 22. This year’s central theme is “Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality, and Enhancing Women and Girls’ Rights and Opportunities.” Representatives of UN agencies and member states, as well as non-governmental organizations accredited by ECOSOC, take part in the session. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan also participated in the session.


At the opening of the session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a remark in his speech at the opening of the session, noting that “gender equality is in fact a matter of power” and, in this sense, the Commission on the Status of Women will be called a committee of status. Recognizing himself as a “proud feminist”, he noted that the change of relations in the government, overcoming gaps and biases requires women to be involved in public processes as equal participants. “When we push women out, each of us pays for her, and when we are attracted to women, the whole world benefits,” he concluded.


RA Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan mentioned in her speech that it is a great honor for her to address the Women’s Status Committee, a structure created for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. She said that Armenia as a member of the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women reaffirms its commitment to support the efforts of gender equality, the promotion and empowerment of women in various spheres of public life and its constructive contribution to the work of the commission.


Touching upon the historical changes in Armenia last year, the Minister mentioned that Armenian women, including young women, were the driving force of the People’s Revolution of Love and Solidarity, at the same time being the guarantor of peace throughout the process.


“For many years, as an activist of the rights of people with disabilities, I have struggled against discrimination, equal opportunities for women and minorities, as well as a dignified place in our societies. Today, as a decision maker, I can state that human rights and human dignity are the basis of all the changes taking place in my country.


Armenia continues to undertake serious steps towards gender equality and elimination of violence against women. Armenia has ratified the main international instruments on gender issues. As a member of the United Nations and Council of Europe, Armenia has assumed certain obligations to comply with national legislation and international provisions. In 2018, Armenia signed the Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence against Women of the Council of Europe.


It is noteworthy that at the same days the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs hosted the representatives of the Fact-Finding Group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


According to Yulia Lyovochkina, the co-rapporteur of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues, the main goal of the visit is the collection of comprehensive information on the process of fulfillment of the commitments undertaken by Armenia, the new government program and political priorities as well as the current political developments.


The first issue that concerns European actors refers to gender equality. Commenting on the topic as “very sensitive”, Yulia Lyovochkina said that she also met with a number of civil society representatives who pointed out the necessity of a strategic document on gender equality.

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