SI Leader Calls for Increased Role of Women

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Secretary General of the Socialist International women’s organization Marlen Haas arrived in Armenia at the invitation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Haas told a press conference on March 25 that the oldest and largest women’s organization (includes socialist and social-democratic 131 organizations) aims at promoting the active participation of women in the political life. It implemen’s programs–directed at abolishing inequality between men and women.

Her visit to Armenia aims at developing relations with the ARF–which is the member of the Social International. Haas said there was a suggestion at the meeting with the ARF leadership to raise the role of women in the party–as well as defining a certain quota for women’s participation in the parliamentary elections.

Haas also said that 50 organizations of the above mentioned 131 have defined certain quota for the participation of women. The issue of establishing a committee dealing with woman’s issues was discussed at the meeting with the ARF leaders as well. "I do hope that ARF will add women quota in its electoral lists," she said.

She thinks it’s absurd and unfair to accept that 97 percent of parliamentarians in Armenia are men–leading a country–where 50 percent are women. "I don’t say it is necessary to have an equality of 50-50–we should–of course–take into account the history–mentality–but women must have the opportunity of becoming a political figure as well," she added.

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