March 23
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Sona Ghazaryan, a member of Armenia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), addressed the PACE plenary session.

“At the beginning of the 20th century the movement for women's right to vote was spreading worldwide.

I'm very happy to say that Armenia was already having success.

In 1919, the first direct parliamentarian elections were held under the universal suffrage.

Every person over the age of 20 had the right to vote, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religious belief.

Three female deputies were in the parliament.

Among them, was Ms. Berjouhi Barseghian, whose grandchild many of you will recognize as the city mayor of Strasbourg - Jeanne Barseghian [who] was her granddaughter.

Diana Abgar, another Armenian strong woman, took a different path to public life. On Friday 2 July 1920, she was appointed Armenia's envoy to Japan. Serving until 1921, she ranked as one of the world's first female ambassadors.

Nowadays, currently in our parliament, women's representation is higher than ever, but still not enough at 35%.

Highly appreciating the role of women, civil society organizations were actively engaged with them in the law-making process, so that will lead to even more women's participation in legislative bodies.

Having peace agenda as one of the main agendas for our ruling party, I can reassure you that women MPs are also engaged in the decision-making processes.

The Republic of Armenia has also developed the second national action plan on the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, reaffirming its readiness to continue its work on peace and security.

The program addresses the issues and challenges faced by women displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the devastating war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh in the autumn of 2020.

As the result of the aggressive war, more than 91 000 people were forcibly displaced and received asylum in Armenia, 88% of whom were women and children.

The war of aggression started during the Covid-19 pandemic. That is complicating the difficult situation for women and girls.

The program presents the problems of women and girls in crisis, addressing their security component.

The program addresses the issue of forcibly displaced women, the security challenges posed by the new border situation, and their impact on women and girls.

Considering the above-mentioned, I need to be very sincere and to tell you that I'm very much surprised to hear how our women colleagues here at the Parliamentary Assembly and other high-Ievel female officials in the neighboring countries can speak in support of war and violence, finding justifications—this should not be acceptable,” the Armenian MP stated, in particular.

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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