Commissioner for Human Rights Strasbourg 24 September 2018
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“Armenia’s peaceful transfer of power in May 2018 has been truly remarkable. However, popular expectations are high that there will be tangible improvements to people’s lives, and the government should devote its attention to upholding the long-neglected rights of those who are most vulnerable”, said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, concluding a visit to Armenia from 15 to 20 September which focused on women’s rights, gender equality and domestic violence, the human rights of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, as well as questions related to accountability for past human rights violations.
The Commissioner devoted attention to the rights of women and their political participation: “Women’s participation in Armenia’s public life should be more effectively promoted - especially, at the highest levels of decision-making and at the local level, where it is particularly low.” Temporary special measures, such as mandatory quotas, can be helpful in levelling the playing field for women and men, and the Commissioner recommends that concrete and ambitious targets for women’s participation be pursued, including for local elections. “The authorities should also do more to encourage women and girls to become actively engaged in political life, to promote role models and champions - both male and female - of women’s equality, and to foster a gender-equal education environment free from discriminatory stereotypes”, said Commissioner Mijatović.
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