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The question –  “How many men should be in the RA National Assembly ” would sound quite weird

Post-election talk with MP Shake Isayan


A member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) of the previous convocation Shakey Isayan continues her legislative activities at the 7th convocation. Speaking to WomenNet.am, she told how her approaches changed after 1.5 years of parliamentary activity, what expectations she has today and what priorities she sees for her future work.


– What do you think in what way these elections differed from the previous ones? Has the public opinion changed towards female candidates?


– It is indisputable that these elections differed from the previous one, first of all, by the high level of legitimacy. There was a wide public trust in them. As to the perceptions of the public about women candidates, I have not noticed a sharp change.


– To what extent have you been changed after  the 1.5-year  parliamentary activity?


– There has been no change in my political principles. However, direct work in the legislature, the format of international parliamentary discussions, daily contacts with different layers of citizens left a mark on the development of my political approach. Especially that last year was one of the most politically advanced stages.


– Changes to the Electoral Code after the Velvet  Revolution became one of the agenda items, including the rating system. What was your attitude to it, what advantages and what obstacles does it have for female candidates?


–  At the National Assembly of the previous convocation, the Tsarukyan faction has come up with a legislative initiative to abandon the rating system. Because it first of all creates unequal competitive conditions. Particularly, the person with the most well-known and tremendous ties in the region appeared in the parliament in this way, and then did not go anywhere in the interests of the given constituency. The PAP’s viewpoint has not been changed in this regard, it’s a principle. From a single stage we have to give up the rating system. At the December 9th elections, we approached the old and unmodified Electoral Code, and therefore, the rating system. The Rule MPs of this convocation National Assembly will be the best example, whether the electoral system should be preserved, of course, reforming it or not. Though it is considered that in the other case regional representation suffers in the parliament, we should  remember that the MP is constitutionally represented by the whole population of the Republic of Armenia.


–  What role does the family play in women’s political participation?


– Without any exaggeration –  the greatest. For me, the family is in the forefront and, therefore, I attach importance to the support of family members in political activities.


–  In your opinion, what should be the representation of women in the National Assembly and is it necessary to raise the quota?


 – Agree, that the question –  how many men should be in the National Assembly – would sound weird? Here we must declare a principle of supremacy. Perhaps, based on some stereotypical notions in the society, there is still a need for quotas for women, but in this direction we need to take a consistent approach so that at some point we will no longer be in the problem of quoting. In other words, regardless of how many women have the desire to engage in politics at the given moment, and most importantly, one or   hundred women – they should have the opportunity to be able to realize their aspirations without barriers.


– What are the problems you would like to solve first?


– First of all I will follow up and try to make my contribution to the work of the committee for the review of the life sentence of the sentenced prisoners for 20 years and more. I also highlight the issue of the law-abiding practice of the Law on Domestic Violence adopted in the previous convocation National Assembly. It is necessary to create such mechanisms that the institution of social and psychological workers within the framework of this law will be established and, as far as possible, contribute to the stabilization of the family environment.


– Do you think there are issues related to women and men in terms of public policy?


– It should be honestly noted that the legislative framework underlying the state policy does not imply an inequality between men and women. It is another matter, I would like to mention again, the stereotypical approach formed in the society for centuries in terms of women’s role. In many cases, this latter is an obstacle to the realization of women’s potential, as the percentage of women receiving higher education is a bit higher in our country than that of men. The steps of the state policy are in the field of removing those obstacles …

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