Employment opportunities for vulnerable women are on the rise in Armenia

Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Gegharkunik and Shirak rank among Armenia’s poorest regions. Improving the employment opportunities for the women living in these locales is one of the priorities of the UN Women regional project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus”.

Participants of training held in Gyumri City in Shirak Region
Participants of training held in Gyumri City in Shirak Region; Photo: UNDP Armenia

Twenty-one vulnerable women from the regions of Gegharkunik and Shirak attended a masterclass in sewing and knitting from experts from Yerevan BurdaStyle Academy. With UN Women support, UNDP Armenia arranged two trainings in which instructors from BurdaStyle Academy trained women on fashion and design techniques and trends in current markets, as well as shared their knowledge on start-up and business development. The training participants also met with famous Armenia designers, including Diana Malenko, Madonna Harutyunyan and Artak Vardanyan, and obtained practical advice from them on the fashion industry.

The three-day trainings took place in the town of Gavar in Gegharkunik and in the city of Gyumri in Shirak Region at the turn of August and September.

Hands-on group work during training in Gyumri City
Hands-on group work during training in Gyumri City; Photo: UNDP Armenia

Among the women attending the masterclasses was Kristine Khachatryan, a mother living on welfare benefits in Shirak. “Thanks to the masterclasses, my skills in sewing improved significantly and I got to work with modern machines. I think this knowledge will help me in finding a job and being successful with my work,” she said.

Irina Chobanyan, one of the Yerevan BurdaStyle Academy representatives, remarked that she was happy to share her knowledge and experience with the women and believes it will help them develop their own entrepreneurial skills.

Within the framework of the project, 140 women in the regions of Gegharkunik and Shirak will be trained to improve their employment skills and opportunities, and a further 140 women will attend trainings to become self-employed.

UN Women Georgia’s regional project "Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus" is implemented in Armenia by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure. The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); and by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds from the Austrian Development Cooperation.