25 / January / 2020

Women earn less and face higher economic constraints in Armenia - report

Over 40% of the economically active women in Armenia are engaged in agricultural industries as opposed to men whose involvement in the sector is 30%, a recent report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reveals.

The document, entitled Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in Armenia, also highlights a higher poverty rate among the female population in comparison to males (54.7% and 45.3%, respectively), attributing the figures to women’s limited economic opportunities.

The 2014 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) score for Armenia was 0.73, ranking it 87th out of 187 countries (UNDP, 2015). The Gender Inequality Index (GII) of that same year was 0.318, with Armenia ranking 62nd out of 155 countries (UNDP, 2015).

The authors of the report stress the urgent need of raising women’s role in agricultural industries (including re-procession factories), which they describe as the main driving force behind economic growth in Armenia.

The document highlights specific cases of gender equality, analyzing their causes and impact on rural communities' social and economic development, food safety and nutrition standards.

It notes that women earn on average less compared to men, with most not being officially registered by de-facto employees to be entitled to different social packages.

In 1994, Armenia ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Article 14 whereof addresses rural women.

“One of the primary contributors to gender inequality in Armenia is the continuing disparity in economic entrepreneurship among women and men. Rural women usually benefit from micro-credit or loan programmes provided by donor organizations, which make these funds available on the basis of a specific level of women’s involvement (quotas). This development strategy has become increasingly common in the last decade,” reads the report.

The full document can be accessed here

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