Finding Time to Do Everything
By Ellen Boneparth, GWLN Advisory Board
How does Svetlana Aslanyan
do all she does? She holds what seem to be two more than full-time jobs! With
a Ph.D. from the Institute of Linguistics at the National Academy of Sciences
in Armenia, she works at her first job at the Institute where she heads a
research group and serves as the Scientific Secretary on International
For her second voluntary job, Svetlana has created and works in a number of
NGOs. She was the Founding President of the Center for the Development of
Civil Society and its Women Scholars' Council Division. She has organized
many initiatives and training programs to raise the status of Armenian women
and promote the "self-empowerment of women in a growing democracy."
As if that were not enough, Svetlana has prepared several women's studies
courses and has published extensively on women's issues.
All that activity hasn't kept Svetlana from pushing even further. She
is currently organizing the Political Academy of Women to increase the role
of women at all levels of decision-making and enable them to participate in
local, parliamentary, and presidential elections. The Political Academy will focus especially on women from small and medium-sized towns. Armenian women
leaders will participate in workshops to learn more about democracy, personal
presentation, communication and media, political parties and public meetings,
and public speaking and campaigning.
I was impressed that many of the techniques Svetlana will use in her training
workshops parallel techniques from WLW (Women Leaders for the World), namely,
consultations between workshops for participants with the seminar presenters
and work on building participants' self-knowledge and vision. Svetlana reported
that WLW played an important role in helping her define her own values,
discover how to present herself, and learn how to train others.
With all this activity, Svetlana still finds time to enjoy her family -
husband, son, and two wonderful grandchildren - and, occasionally, reading
Just in case you're worried that Svetlana might relax some day, she is
researching a future book, tentatively titled "Women in Post-Communist
Armenia: Soviet Tradition, Democratic Transition, and Future Dreams."
Congratulations to Svetlana on all her accomplishments. Let's hope she got
just a bit of rest over the holidays!!