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Armenia. women at the helm of government

  • Of the 4003 ministers in the world, 851 are women, which is 21.3%.
  • In 16 countries, women account for 40-50% of ministerial portfolios.
  • The proportion of women in the governments of 14 countries is 50 percent or more.
  • One of the 12 ministers in the Armenian government is a woman, which makes 8.3%.


Within the Armenian government, women remain a minority, especially in the most senior ranks, starting from the prime minister and vice prime ministers, who have only been men since independence. The situation in the ministers’ offices has also changed little: after the velvet revolution the minister’s portfolio has only one woman, and in all cabinets previously held, at least three women had ministerial portfolios. In other words, the governing body of Armenia remains exclusively in the hands of men.


Six months ago there were 12 women deputy ministers


Let us remind that in September 2019, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, referring to the representation of women in the government, noted that there is one female minister in the government and 12 women deputy ministers. Also, two of the three deputies of the Prime Minister’s Staff are women, one of the SRC Vice-Presidents is a woman, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the Urban Development Committee is a woman. In addition, women a headed the Civil Aviation Committee, Social Security Service, State Tourism Committee, the prime minister said, expressing an opinion, that his government outperforms all previous governments in Armenia with women’s involvement. The comparison, however, revealed that Pashinyan could not set an example in the cabinet, as there were three cabinets with three female ministers. As for the number of deputy ministers, Pashinyan’s cabinet really outperforms his predecessors.


Today only 9 of the deputy ministers are women


It is another matter that in recent months some changes have been made to the cabinet, resulting in the replacement of deputy ministers, including female deputy ministers, and not always that women have been re-appointed. As of today, only 9 out of 40 deputy ministers of the 12 ministries are women (22.5%).


Only the position of Minister of Labor and Social Affairs occupied by Zaruhi Batoyan is considered a level of political decision-making. To note, only one of the four deputy ministers was a woman, Janna Andreasyan, who, by the way, was recently appointed deputy minister of education.


It should be added that two of the 6 advisers to the Prime Minister are women and one of the four assistants is women. Also recently a woman was appointed as the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman. Eight out of 28 heads of the Prime Minister’s 28 subdivisions are women. But these positions are also not considered a level of political decision-making.


Bodies subordinate to the government and the prime minister are headed only by men


If we look at the government-run bodies, there are 11, but none of them are headed women. These bodies are: Health and Labor Inspectorate, Cadastre Committee, Education Inspectorate, Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee, Market Surveillance Inspectorate, State Revenue Committee, Food Safety Inspectorate, Statistical Committee, Urban Development Committee and Urban Development, Technical and Fire Safety Inspection.


There are three bodies under the Prime Minister’s control: the National Security Service, the RA Police and the State Control Service. We don’t have a female leader here either. The Security Council also is not governed by women. In other words, no female head is appointed in any of the bodies subject to the prime minister and the government.


The government has three structures headed by women. We are talking about the Tourism Committee, which is under the Ministry of Economy, the Civil Aviation Committee and the Social Security Service. The Tourism Committee is headed by Susanna Safaryan, the Civil Aviation Committee is headed by Tatevik Revazyan and the Social Security Service by Ani Amirshadyan. And the leaders of these structures have not changed since the Prime Minister’s post last year.



Hasn’t the revolution reached the regions?


All ten regions of Armenia continue to be run by men. This is also the traditional picture that the new authorities inherited from the previous ones. Although five women were immediately appointed to the post of deputy governors immediately after the revolution, only two women are currently deputy governors – Vayots Dzor Deputy Governor Nane Asatryan and Lori Deputy Governor Gayane Markosyan.


So let’s say that the issue of women’s involvement in the governance of the country remains on the agenda, as women are still left out of decision-making.



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