Last week, we organised a training in Armenia, together with Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF). It is difficult for Armenian women to advance to leadership positions in politics, due to prevailing stereotypes and a relatively conservative society. This training was designed to give a group of talented young women the necessary skills they can use against these obstacles and help each other.
Twenty women came together to work on their leadership skills with FMS trainers Jamila Aanzi and Stefanie de Ruiter. The training began with a discussion of the situation around women's empowerment and political representation of women in Armenian politics. In doing so, WECF presented its Gender Impact Assessment and Monitoring Tool , which can help with this analysis. The women then learnt to analyse their opportunities and their environment, and there was a lot of practice with communication skills. the training ended with a session on "sisterhood": practical ways in which these and other women can help and support each other.
At the evaluation, participants presented the safe and constructive atmosphere created by the trainers, and said they learned a lot. Many showed a willingness to help another woman with a practical problem, and many connections were made. The women also wanted to think further after the training about ways to spread this kind of practice further in the country. Although the battle in Armenia is far from over, this certainly gives hope!