ARF Highlights Role of Women at Leadership Forum

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A women’s leadership forum organized by the National Institute of Democracy Tuesday urged Armenian authorities to revise an article in the electoral code to increase women’s participation from five percent to 25 percent. Christine Haffert, the director of the women’s leadership program of the Washington Office of the National Institute of Democracy, said that discussions must be directed toward demonstrating the potential of women who may be involved in the country’s legislature. She commented that the time was ripe to increase the ration to 25 percent in the upcoming parliamentary elections. "It is crucial to elevate the role of women in political and public life, and they should be given posts that are decisive for our country’s future," said the leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation parliamentary bloc Hray Karapetian who added that the ARF would include more female candiadates in its party slate during next year’s elections. "There are those who say this is an artificial issue," said Karapetian, adding, "But we believe the issue exists and it is a painful one. We need to overcome many prejudices that still exist in our minds." Karapetian stressed that the ARF, as a full-fledged member of the Socialist International, has committed to have 25 percent of female candidates in its electoral slate. But even before that commitment, the ARF had two women in its 11-member parliamentary bloc.

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