For sixty years, the European Union has worked tirelessly to defend women’s rights and to empower them to realise their full potential. Gender equality is at the heart of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative. It is vital to the individual lives of women as well as men, and essential for long-term democratic development. In its cooperation with Armenia, the EU is driving real change by strengthening women in business, providing opportunities for quality education and promoting a fair society.
WHAT IS BEING DONE
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
The EU supports women entrepreneurs in Armenia through the Women in Business programme which is implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Support provided by the programme includes business advice, training and mentoring to women-led companies, as well as finance through dedicated credit lines provided to local banks.
Find out how you can take part www.ebrdwomeninbusiness.com
In 2019, 226 women entrepreneurs in Armenia received loans to a total value of almost €1 million under EU support programmes for SMEs, while 143 received grants worth more than €1.5 million. More than 2,500 benefitted from consultancy services. Turnover among supported companies rose by almost €36 million, and 1,592 new jobs were created as a result of the support.
“I heard there was an innovative business centre in Sevan which helps young people who have an idea but don’t know where to start.” Thanks to the Mayors for Economic Growth project, Zoya Safaryan learned how to develop a business plan and now aims to open a marketing centre.
Women entrepreneurs in Armenia also have access to a range of other funding and advisory services provided under the EU4Business initiative.
Find out more www.eu4business.eu/armenia
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Through its Erasmus+ programme, the EU offers young women and men in Armenia a huge range of exchange opportunities across Europe.
Erasmus+ opportunities include:
“Sending an application from the village post office took me to four different countries and determined my career.” Satenik Khachatryan studied in Norway, Ireland, Malta and Sweden under Erasmus+. Now, she is back home working on child protection and education.
Erasmus+ in Armenia: all your questions answered: www.euneighbours.eu/en/east/stay-informed/cards/erasmus-armenia
“I fell in love with the work. The project gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and a new profession.” With EU4Youth support, Sveta Khachatryan became the first female veterinary student with a disability in the city of Gavar
A FAIR SOCIETY
The EU-funded project on ‘Strengthening access to justice for women victims of violence’ supports Armenia in applying international standards of women’s rights in domestic law. The project supported law enforcement officials to coordinate their action on domestic violence.
“During these trainings, we saw a big change in mindset – officials began to realise they needed a specific gender approach to fight this evil effectively.” Liza Grigoryan, judge of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction.
This regional programme, funded by the European Union across the Eastern Partnership, seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by shifting social perceptions around gender roles, tackling gender stereotypes and increasing men’s participation in childcare and other domestic responsibilities.
With school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic increasing pressure on families – especially women – the project has launched a new campaign encouraging society to Look Beyond traditional masculine and feminine roles to a world where household chores and childcare have no gender.
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