ARF Represented at Socialist International Women Conference

The Socialist International Women held its annual conference in Oslo–Norway–May 15-16–with the theme "Women and Power-Sharing: Leadership and Strategies." Among representatives from 44 countries was Hilda Chobanian representing the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Addressing the conference were Norwegian and Danish women politicians who spoke about womens’ rights in politics and established laws. They pointed out that in the absolute majority of socialist parties–women were the least represented group in party–regional–district and parliamentary elections.

Chobanian presented the state of female representation in the Armenian government. Departing from Armenian and Diasporan realities–she reported that despite the efforts–to provide equal political leverage and to secure equal social and political rights for women–of the more than 30 womens’ groups in the 1995 elections–only a small group of women who favored the then ruling regime was elected. That group failed to attempt or achieve any progress in supporting womens’ issues and rights.

Chobanian continued to explain that due to the ongoing blockade by Azerbaijan and the dire socio-economic and political status created by the rule of the former administration–women have become the most desperate and anguished people of the social strata. Chobanian appreciated the status of the women of Armenia–similar to those of the women in all former soviet states–as a measure for the level of democracy in a state. She declared that her party intends to take steps acknowledging that fact.

Chobanian anticipated that in future elections structured measures be taken to ensure the rightful place of women in public and political life–and therefore allow them to contribute to the necessary advancement of the state.

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