NA Deputy Sona Ghazaryan Gives a Speech at PACE Winter Session
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The Member of the RA NA Delegation to PACE gave a speech with the framework of the debate The role and responsibility of men and boys in stopping gender-based violence against women and girls, presented on the agenda of PACE Winter Session.

“Dear Colleagues,

I am truly impressed and happy to see such a distinguished speakers’ list. So many men stepped up, perhaps some got out of their comfort zone to speak on this specific subject fight against violence. Although there is ample evidence showing that women are more vulnerable to gender based violence, than men, I believe this fight against the phenomenon should be owned by all of us, regardless of gender. What happens usually and unfortunately it is always women that come together, discuss, agree with each other on the subject and this is not very productive in my opinion.As clearly mentioned in the UN Beijing+20 campaign we need to engage men and boys on gender equality and women’s empowerment talks. Violence free society is to the benefit of all.

Men need to be engaged as gender advocates – speaking out as active agents and stakeholders who can transform social norms, behaviours and gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination and inequality.

It is very impressive to see how different states all over the world put efforts into engaging local leaders and authorities to fight against violence, regardless of their gender. The concept of positive masculinity is what male resource centres should focus on and educate their communities about.

Today in this room, I am privileged to share the efforts I pursue at the national level.

Firstly, as an MP, I work on improving the legal environment, improving the law on domestic violence. With my colleagues I drafted the amendments on the law on domestic violence. We surely engaged male MPs in the process.

Moreover, the Armenian government created the council on women's affairs led by the deputy prime minister, members of government, members of Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and Parliament to have multi stakeholder discussion. It makes me pleased to see that many men in this discussion accept their responsibility and duty to also be the frontrunners on the subject.

Petra, I agree with your conclusion that gender based violence is a threat to democracy, this is another reason why everyone, regardless of gender, should be partners and allies to the fight against it.”