Eurasian Key Populations Health Network (EKHN) and Right Side human rights defender NGO deeply condemn the Gender Based Violence happened in the Yerevan City Council on 13th February 2018.
Detailed information at https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-female-legisl…/29037927.html.
The members of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) hit Maria Khachatryan, a member of the “Yerkir Tsirani” party and pushed her out from the session hall by using physical violence. Marina Khachatryan reported also about sexual violence and harassment against her taken place during this stir.
These kind of disgraceful actions proved once again that violence against women is an extreme manifestation of gender inequality, which results women to be deprived of equal rights as well as opportunities to participate in social, economic and political life of Armenia.
Such situation has not only a personal, but also a national impact and it will have serious implications for the sustainable development of any society. Not only it addresses the social and economic field of any country, but also harms the country’s security, first of all from the gender equality and gender equity points of view.
“It is cruel and ironic that on these days when Government of the Republic of Armenia and other UN Member States have undertaken the responsibility to ensure and implement Sustainable Development Agenda as a key priority for gender equality without “ignoring anyone”. The same day we gathered near the municipality of Yerevan (about 15-20 activists) to express our protest against the violence committed by the Republican Party of Armenia against the women representatives of “Yerkir Tsirani” party. The police tore apart almost all the posters brought by the activists, afterwards police used excessive force against us, causing us physical and material damages. This also states that pressure and violence are widespread in the Republic of Armenia, and that needs to be strictly condemned”, said Lilit MARTIROSYAN, the President of “Right Side” human rights defender NGO.
The gender equality within Yerevan City Council, could constitute a solid basis for the promotion of gender equality in Armenia. However, we, as an international and national civil society representatives, observed that the Government of Armenia has so far failed its main emphasis on promoting the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (the Strategic Motto of EKHN is “SDGs for Key Population”), including preventing gender based violence. We underline that achievement of these objectives is essential to bring about the empowerment of women.
There can be no success in empowering Armenia’s women in the political spheres without addressing the gender based violence, discriminatory stereotyping, the sexist rhetoric, the disproportionate burdening of women with almost sole responsibility for unpaid care work. Transformative change required for eliminating discrimination against women in practice should be demonstrated at first by the Government of Armenia, including by Yerevan City Council.
Society can not be liberated if it does not condemn violence against a woman!
Eurasian Key Populations Health Network (EKHN)
“Right Side” human rights defender NGO