Armenia adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2021. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it does not indicate civil society inclusion in the development of the NAP. Armenia’s NAP focuses heavily on increasing women’s participation in and awareness of the protection of women’s rights within the defense system (military, police, and peacekeeping missions). The NAP also puts particular emphasis on creating comprehensive programs to address the needs of women and girls impacted by or displaced as a result of conflicts. The NAP includes components on the international implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, especially in light of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, the document specifically states that Armenia considers the NAP “as a national mechanism for the protection and promotion of women’s rights in public life” (p. 2). The NAP identifies 18 objectives that are grouped under the primary pillars of Resolution 1325: participation; protection; prevention; and relief and recovery. While each objective has corresponding actions, indicators, and responsible parties, there is no allocated funding.
Armenia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The country has been in an ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan since 1988 as a result of the long-standing dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The conflict has resulted in thousands of casualties as well as refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). Even though a ceasefire was put into effect in 1994, there has been ongoing tension between the two countries. The conflict erupted again most recently in 2022. The conflict has had distinct gendered impacts, affecting women’s lives in the public and private realm alike. Women’s organizations have been at the forefront to demand an end to hostilities and establish peace. Despite their on-the-ground efforts, women have been excluded from high-level diplomatic negotiations.