UN Women supports promotion of products made by rural women in Armenia

Date: Sunday, September 15, 2019

For rural women entrepreneurs, experience-sharing with other producers and artisans is an important source of new ideas for future product development or access to new markets.

Women Entrepreneurs from Shirak Region arranging their display at the Festival
Women entrepreneurs from Shirak Region arranging their display at the Festival; Photo: UNDP Armenia

Eighteen rural women entrepreneurs from two low-income regions - Gegharkunik and Shirak - showcased their products at the “Harvest Festival of Rural Life and Traditions” on 14 and 15 September 2019 in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. The festival hosted agricultural companies from Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Lebanon. The event was organized by the NGO Green Lane, a former grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, the Ministry of Agriculture, and Yerevan Municipality.

Nara Harutyunyan (age 36), from Shirak, sells home-made traditional Armenian cookies. She said that thanks to her participation in the festival, she learned about new trends in presenting and packaging traditional cookies. Also, one of the local companies offered to sponsor her attendance at a training on cookie production.

Gohar Ghazaryan (age 28) and her friends from Shirak collect and dry herbs in a way that fully maintains their medicinal properties. She packaged the herbs in hand-made bundles specially for the festival. “I learned that there is strong demand for this product,” she remarked after the event. “Many festival-goers wanted to purchase the herbs by the kilogram, something which I will have to consider for the future.”

Prior to the festival, in June of this year, the women underwent start-up and business development trainings, as well as improved their knowledge about agricultural activities and food processing. The primary aim of the trainings was to provide women with knowledge on how to run a successful business. The women were also trained on skills and methods to increase the quality and quantity of their agricultural products and, thereby, to increase their earnings.

The project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” is implemented by UN Women Georgia in partnership with UNDP Armenia and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure. Within the framework of the initiative, 140 women will be trained in the regions of Gegharkunik and Shirak with the purpose of enhancing their employment skills and building their capacities. An additional 140 women will gain skills to support their self-employment.

The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).