Socialist International Vice President and Director of the Hrayr Maroukhian Foundation Maria Titizian took part in a National Conference on Women on May 18-19 organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and USAID, with support from the British Embassy and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The conference, “Supporting Women’s Political Participation in Armenia: A Nationwide Women’s Conference and Women’s Platform” aimed to bring greater attention to women’s issues and increase women’s political representation and participation in Armenia.
Over 300 women leaders from civil society, government, academia, and political parties took part in the conference.
The conference opened with speeches and a panel discussion by prominent U.S. and European government officials. Keynote speakers and panelists included U.S. Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch, Ambassador Meryl Frank (U.S. Representative, UN Commission on the Status of Women), Swedish Ambassador to Armenia Diana Janse (based in Tbilisi), former Macedonian Ambassador to Albania Blagorodna Mingova Krepieva, UNDP Resident Coordinator in Armenia Dafina Gercheva, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Socialist International Vice President Maria Titizian and British Ambassador to Armenia Charles Lonsdale. Invitees included senior officials from the Armenian government and representatives of local and international organizations.
During the conference, the women participants broke into smaller, cross-sector working groups to formulate policy solutions regarding issues of concern to Armenian women. Panel discussions addressed topics such as coalition building, working within parties and across sectors to support gender equality, domestic violence, health and encouraging male political leaders and the public at large to support greater political rights for women.