2009-01-24 | News
Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women Reviews Report of Armenia

Geneva, 23 January 2009. – The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today reviewed the fourth periodic report of Armenia on how that country implements the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Arman Kirakossian, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, presenting the report, said Armenia had ratified the Convention in 1993, and since then had presented two periodic reports, in 1996, and 1999. The present report was on the period from 2002 to 2007, and contained information on the further legislative and institutional measures taken by the State with the aim of improving the situation of women in society, in particular efforts aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination and making men and women truly equal. National legislation had been reformed to this end, and a number of lateral and bilateral agreements signed. Discrimination against women had been banned - there were no discriminatory laws, policies or practices against women in Armenia.

Among the questions and issues raised by Experts were what activities the Government had undertaken to increase the awareness of the judiciary of the Convention and the country\'s obligations there under; whether there was any legal basis or mention in any legal act regulating the Government and its structure that would provide for a basis for a department being the National Machinery for Gender Equality; whether there were any deterrents in place against domestic violence; why there was such a high level of violence in the election process, in particular against journalists; the feminisation of poverty where women were in low-paid jobs and in unemployment and what were the results of programmes in this context; and what was the legal framework, rights and obligations of people in de facto relationships and whether women\'s and children\'s rights were affected in this situation.

In concluding remarks, Dziunik Aghajanian, Director of the International Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Government was open to discussion, in particular with civil society and others to discuss new trends and to tackle issues as they came up, before they became unmanageable. Armenia had problems, as did other countries, but it saw the prospect and was keen on working and getting to its destination.

Also in concluding remarks, Naela Gabr, Chairperson of the Committee, said more interaction would lead to further respect of women\'s rights and the activation of women\'s rights in Armenia and its full implementation. The delegation should address the Parliament on its return and inform it of the discussions. There should be further awareness raising on the Convention so that a greater role for women in diplomacy, Parliament and political life as a whole could be achieved. Abortion should not be used as a means of family planning, and work should be done to ensure that proper family planning was available.

The delegation of Armenia also contained representatives of the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Police of the Republic of Armenia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education.

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