MP of the Prosperous Armenia party Elinar Vardanyan reads laws and drafts during her free time, but also tries to find time for reading fiction books. She is very impressed by two of those, first one of which is “Little Prince”, and the second one she read in three languages and still wants to reread it. Which is Elinar Vardanyan`s favorite fiction book, why did she enter the National Assembly and how is she at home with her family members? Read in the next interview of the “Women in the Legislature” series.
Mrs Vardanyan, You have been a member of the Chamber of Advocates since 2001. Can You briefly describe your advocacy activities?
I graduated from the university in 2000 and in 2001 I tried myself as a new lawyer. At the beginning I dealt with only criminal cases, honestly I saw myself in that field. But after 2 years I understood that I was more romantic than I should have been. So I shifted to the civil cases. I have been doing advocacy for quite a long time. There was a time when I was involved only in advocacy and social activities.
Why did You Decide to get involved in the Legislative sphere – in the National Assembly?
The entrance to the National Assembly was due to my social activity. Being involved in a CSO for a long time – I was running an NGO, the shift was fluent. The base I gathered during my social activities was useful and continues being useful in the legislative sphere.
What kind of problems are there for women in that field?
In fact I don`t separate gender differences, as I think in this field one`s readiness, goals, activity and competence are more important. Thus I don`t think it`s proper to differentiate whether a woman or a man works in this field. I never faced any obstacles during my activity in terms of being a woman. Moreover, sometimes it makes it easier.
Are women sufficiently involved in the legislative field?
No, I don`t think that just 11% of involvement of women in the National Assembly is sufficient, as women in fact have quite serious potential which should be used in the RA. Unfortunately we have such traditions and stereotypes, especially in the politics, but during recent years it also gives away. On the other side I am concerned about the fact that trying to promote women enrollment, it might bear artificial character. The National Assembly should not be artificially replenished with women who do not have anything to do in the politics.
What does Your position give to You and Your Family?
It gives me opportunity to raise all the issues I see in various aspects and try to find legislative solutions to those issues which I think are urgent. And what did it give to my family? Honestly it made the life more complicated for my family members as unfortunately I devote less time to my family than I would like to.
What are Your preferences in music and literature, and do You have hobbies?
I love good music of various styles, there are classic musical works that are on top, but at the same time I like jazz and rock music. My favorites are the world-famous pop songs which I couldn`t be indifferent to. I love reading but recently that doesn`t happen often as I mainly read laws and draft laws. Nevertheless, I manage to read a couple of pages before sleeping if I am not too tired. I don`t have hobbies as such.
Which book has had the most influence on You?
I was impressed and continue being impressed by mainly two books. One of them is the “Little Prince”, and the other one is “100-year solitude”. And I read the latter in 3 languages. Firstly I read it in Armenian and then I felt I needed to reread it, next one was in Russian, and later on I read it in English. Every time I read that book, I find new things for me. It`s a very close book to me.
It is assumed that a legislature should be guided by rights and laws, staying rigorous. Is this rigor and rule of law applying to Your family as well?
I am more liberal and gentle in the family. Honestly I never thought I`d be this soft with my children, it is important for me to let my children grow up independent, let them learn from their mistakes and gain character. They are still small, I can`t say how much my approach is right.
Interview by Gevorg Tosunyan
Photos by Zakar Iskandaryan
Author of the idea – Karen Zadoyan