Gender Sensitization in Greening the National Industry: Training Workshop in Armenia

With a population of 2.9 million people of which 52.7 % are women, Armenia has made significant steps towards raising its human development ratings.[1] This comes as a result of the progress initiated over the last two decades (2000-2019), during which it greatly improved its means of collecting sex-disaggregated data and integrating them into publications on key topics such as demographics, health, education, labour force, and household conditions. [2]

Demography wise, the three most noticeable gender gaps are the life expectancy gap (disfavouring men), the household poverty gap (disfavouring women), and the gender imbalances among different age groups. In 2020, Armenia ranked 98th out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, ranking 45th in terms of educational attainment (scoring 0.998 out of 1), 78th in economic participation and opportunity, and 114th in terms of political participation.[3] As for the women’s access to decision-making, in the past 20 years, the national trends were in line with the regional and global developments. Currently, women make up to 24 % of the National Assembly (Parliament) members, the highest share of female MPs since independence. 77 % Armenians (70 % men, 83 % women) believe that women should have the equal opportunity of being elected to political office.[4]

Since 2018, the gender pay gap has been one of the highest in the region, accounting 32.5 %.[5] Some of the root causes are the lack of female representation in economic sectors with higher pay (finance, IT, etc.), a lower women’s labour force participation rate, and gender stereotypes which compel women to agree to lower salaries or request lower salaries when being hired or promoted. In 2018, Armenia’s gross national income per capita for men was almost two times higher than that for women[6].

While it continues to outperform the global average in terms of universal enrolment of both boys and girls in primary and secondary education, underrepresentation of women/girls in technical education (STEM, industrial production, etc.) is a deep issue in Armenia. Such academic underrepresentation then translates into underrepresentation in professions involving STEM and technical work, and in the career-affiliated gender pay gap. Women are also less likely to own firms with at least five employees and more likely to own retail businesses as opposed to any other businesses. The same gap is true for women and men as top managers in the business sector. Namely, only 19.1 % of firms with five or more employees are managed by women. Finally, women make only 18 % of the total number of employers while men, 82 % (2016)[7].

Whilst women are better educated than men (making 56 % of tertiary education graduates), almost 50% women with intermediate education, and more than 1/3 of women with advanced education do not engage in paid work. In terms of employment, a larger share of women compared to men are employed in agriculture and services. As of 2015, 52 % of employed women and 46 % of employed men were engaged in the service sector; 40 % women and 31 % men, in agriculture; and 7 % women and 15 % men, in the industrial sector[1]. According to an UN Women survey, only 25.3 % of Armenian firms had women in their ownership, 14.5 % of firms had women with majority ownership, and 19.1 % had women as top managers.[2] Supporting the entrepreneurship, including SMEs, has been one of the leading objectives of UNIDO. In Armenia, there is no accurate estimate of what percentage of entrepreneurs are women/men. At the same time, there are certain proxy data that attest significant gender gaps in terms of entrepreneurship. This makes women a potential target audience for entrepreneurship programmes, since they are largely underrepresented or ignored amongst entrepreneurs.

The training workshop on Gender Sensitization in Greening the National Industry in Armenia took place on 8-9 February 2021. It was opened by Ms. Anna Mazmanyan, Deputy Minister of Environment together with Mr. Andrea Baggioli, International Aid and Cooperation Officer from Delegation of the European Union to Armenia. Both speakers have referred to gender equality as the key element in promoting green and resilient economic development in the country. The most prominent topics of the training included key statistics and parameters on gender in Armenia, the national law on gender and the national gender policies, as well as gender aspects on Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) and Circular Economy (CE) – and how to integrate gender in greening economic growth. The training helped identify existing gender imbalances in Armenia in all areas of social life (especially in terms of gender division of labour, access to and control of resources and technologies, and opportunities for and constraints on women’s participation in political processes and decision-making). The training’s approach also helped assess potential gender-differentiated impacts of the RECP/CE issues in Armenia, and to inform on strategies and actions that ongoing projects should take to address existing inequalities and make sure that men and women can equally contribute to the project and benefit from its outcomes.

Participants

The training workshop gathered representatives of the National Implementing Partner in each of the countries as well as representatives of other key stakeholders identified by the NIP. These included government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, industrial associations, private companies or other entities which are most critical in the successful project implementation of the country.

Meeting documents:

Agenda

 

[1] World Bank. Armenia Country Gender Assessment, 2016, http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/250481491242159715/pdf/113990-WP-P157626-PUBLIC-Armenia-Gender-Assessment-2016.pdf

[2] UN Women. Armenia Country Gender Equality Brief, 2019, p. 11.

[1] Asian Development Bank. Armenia. Country Gender Assessment, 2019, p. 10, https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/institutional-document/546716/armenia-country-gender-assessment-2019.pdf

[2] Statistical Committee of Armenia. Women and Men in Armenia, 2019, https://armstat.am/en/?nid=82&id=2215

[3] World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2020, Armenia profile, https://www.weforum.org/reports/gender-gap-2020-report-100-years-pay-equality.

[4] UNFPA, Men and Gender Equality in Armenia, 2016.

[5] Statistical Committee of Armenia. Women and Men in Armenia, 2017, p. 43.

[6] UN Women. Armenia Country Gender Equality Brief, 2019, p. 14.

[7] Statistical Committee of Armenia. Women and Men in Armenia, 2017, p. 69

 

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