In an effort to promote collaboration amongst women’s resource centres, the OSCE Office in Yerevan hosted a delegation from European Association of Women Resource Centres (WINNET) Europe.
The Office in Yerevan established Women’s Resource Centres (WRCs) in Goris, Kapan, and Meghri, southern Armenia, in 2009. The centres formed a Syunik Women Resource Centers’ Network and became a member of the WINNET Europe in 2014.
“The centres have made an amazing progress in the past few years,” said OSCE Democratization Officer Oliver McCoy. “The establishment of WINNET Armenia is a testament to multi-lateral co-operation and can serve as an example to others in the country and wider.”
During the visit, WINNET Europe representatives shared their experience in promoting women’s role and competitiveness in the social, economic, and political spheres at the national, regional and local levels.
President and Manager of WINNET Sweden and WINNET Europe, Britt-Marie Söderberg Torstensson, said: “Until gender equal conditions and opportunities in terms of work, working conditions, national and regional development for sustainable growth, including innovation and entrepreneurship for women and men prevail, and until a uniform balance of power and influence throughout society is recognized we have a value of discrimination.”
The President of WINNET Armenia, Ruzanna Torozyan, highlighted the impact of the resource centres in rural communities, where the network has created around 100 job opportunities for women. “Being involved in handicraft projects, these women not only create carpets, souvenirs and other products, but also restore the old traditional crafts. The WINNET Armenia also works towards women political empowerment, which reflects in the fact that Syunik has the highest number of women representatives in local authorities.”
Over the course of the visit, the WINNET Europe delegation met the government officials in Yerevan and travelled to Goris to see activities and explore further collaboration. WINNET Armenia includes women’s resource centres from Goris, Kapan, Meghri, Sisian, Dilijan, Ijevan and Eghegnadzor.