“We need to make everyone more aware of the benefits of empowering women. Then I think we can succeed faster. Because it’s one thing to achieve Success, and another to repeat success. That’s the job of a leader.” Muhtar Kent
public servant elected to an office has a duty to serve the electorate. One of
the most important duties of a nation’s president or prime minister is to make
sure the people are safe and secure –especially when the country to lead is
surrounded by genocidal enemies as Armenia has been finding itself since the
territorial dispute of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in the early 1990s. .
If it is not by law or by the constitution,
it is by moral principle imperative to ask the first simple, but consequential,
question when the new president or prime minister meets his cabinet: Are we
safe? Are we secure in the face of looming aggression by Azerbaijan and its
allies when efforts toward peace was fruitless?
The most important question to ask
when the nation is in a crisis would be “what is the situation with our
national security?” Blaming the previous Armenia’s presidents for
wrongdoings does not exonerate PM Nikol Pashinyan from the responsibility of
making sure the country had a robust national security. There is no logical
excuse to absolve Pashinyan from the blame for the costly mistake of not making
sure the people of Armenia and Artsakh were “safe” and
“secure” from the expected, unprovoked attacks by Azeri forces, which
are becoming a daily event now.
So many indications that Azerbaijan
had telegraphed its intention to attack Armenia and Artsakh, failed to serve as
a wakeup call to Armenia’s previous leaders and to its new prime minister,
Nikol Pashinyan, to get ready to defend
the nation against an assault by its sworn enemies.
As a result, Armenia lost in April of
2016 soldiers, villages, and hilltops (strategic military positions), to invading
Azerbaijan. Although PM Nikol Pashinyan was not yet the prime minister in 2016,
he still shoulders the blame as being then a member of the government. He
should not have ignored the impending danger of attack by belligerent
Again, in July of 2022, Azerbaijan’s
artillery barrage and killer drones did not make Armenia’s new leader look into
the situation to see if Armenia/Artsakh defense forces could withstand Azeri
aggression. What does it take to get ready to face the enemy? A total loss? A
humiliating defeat? Well you got it, Mr. PM! While Pashinyan is seemingly a sincere
person, honesty is not sufficient to lead a country out of existential predicament.
As a consequence of all the mistakes
committed by Armenia’s presidents/prime ministers, I wondered what it would be
like to have a woman elected for the presidency position. In this article, an
attempt will be made to glean from studies on how a woman fares in terms of
high-ranking leadership positions. Ideas have changed the world; perhaps a
woman president will be better for the beleaguered and mismanaged Armenia.
I shall not get into the topic of the
derelictions of former presidents of Armenia, but suffice it to say that
Armenia’s first president started out with national blunders. Two of them come
to mind: Selling out national properties, factories, and equipment piecemeal
and refusing to make it easy to grant citizenship to Armenia’s Diaspora.
Armenia was shooting itself in the foot!
Fifty years ago, under President
Peron, Argentina did the same mistake and Armenia should have learned from that
painful experience. In other words, President Levon Der Petrosian should have
looked before leaping into dismantling all the intact industrial section of the
economy, selling the furniture, the equipment, the building separately, one by
one. In so doing, the wheels of the factories
were disabled, ceased to operate as a whole to generate income and employment for
Due to the dereliction
of our political and military leaders, we lost too many valuable people and
huge swathes of territory during the Second Artsakh War of 2020. Worse yet, Armenians around the world are in
gloomy spirits and their hopes are shattered as to how to get out of this
quagmire. Even on a daily basis, Azerbaijan is still nibbling away Armenian
territory with no end in sight. Many people expect a large-scale attack by Azerbaijan
in the coming days.
Drawing upon many studies, let us
explore how well women are capable of handling high-ranking, high-level
leadership positions such as chief-executive officer, secretary of state,
president of a corporation, and the like.
Briefly, the following characteristics of women are the consensus of many researchers who have scientifically determined as to what makes women stand out compared to their male counterparts: Women are –Great Listeners. Research shows that women in leadership positions are better listeners. They listen, appreciate diverse view points, and make informed decisions after hearing all points of view. In this way, they learn, reflect, and implement a plan that incorporates the best of ideas.
Great Team-Players. As leaders, women are team-oriented. Unlike men who are usually lone wolves, women are more nurturing, and help the team members grow professionally. They are effective collaborators and strive to succeed, which boosts teamwork and helps implement a new culture within the organization. The end result is synergy.
Great Communicators. One of the strongest skills of women is communication. Generally, they are better at getting longer lasting results because they have an open and more communication-friendly or naturally interactive style and this encourages participation as opposed to men’s command and control approach. Also, women’s command of the language and articulation is much better than that of men.
Great in Defying Challenges. Over the years, the world cultures have made it very difficult for women to succeed. The odds are always against them to lead and it is an uphill battle for them to get to the top. Those women who have acquired a position of leadership, after overcoming many hurdles, would tend to emerge stronger and more determined to succeed. The rough experience of shattering the glass ceiling would make them great leaders to face even complicated challenges. As a result, they believe in gender equality for all.
Great at Multi-Tasking. Due to different roles that a woman plays in her own life (e.g., wife, mother, writer, publisher, etc.), multi-tasking comes naturally to her. The ability to switch among tasks and handle multiple tasks simultaneously, helps women decisively and rapidly respond to different tasks or situations at the same time, a time which is a critical component to successful leadership.
Great at Leading by Example. Women leaders are petrified to have a blemish on their reputation. Therefore, the tendency is to operate openly and candidly in carrying out the responsibilities of their position. Women believe strongly in transparency in conducting national affairs. For them honesty is the best policy to avoid embarrassment and disgrace.
Great at Emotional Intelligence. In interpersonal relations, women show higher emotional intelligence, which is the ability to use emotion to increase one’s own and others’ success. Women are quicker than men to recognize emotions in themselves and in others and relate. This trait comes to women more naturally to aid them sense in the moment how others are reacting and makes them good mentors, teachers, and group leaders.
Great Transformational Catalysts. Women are more concerned to making a difference in people’s lives. Women leaders usually serve to transform people’s lives, male or female, for the better. A great leader, for instance, never fails to influence people around him or her by inspiring their thoughts for greater success in life. A woman’s charismatic leadership style is well established to draw people towards organization’s mission and vision.
Great Stamina to Persevere. It has been established that women have higher level of stamina than men do. Like in a prize fighter, stamina is essential to endure the torturous rounds to either knock down or knock out one’s opponent. Men are known to have shorter stamina in handling long-drawn problems facing the organization they happen to lead.
Great at Telling the Truth. Since the previous presidents of Armenia have enriched themselves at the expense of the country they ruled by embezzling and telling lies, and since I have a firsthand experience with this topic, let me elaborate on this important honesty virtue of whose lack has caused a lot of problems to the national security of the Armenian people.
Based on one of my areas of study
called “Response Error” in psychology as to why people misrepresent
or misreport (i.e., lie) factual information that can be verified. I proposed a
unified theory of Response Error to explain as to why people lie. For example, an applicant may be asked to
state his or her age. If the person is over fifty and states his or her age to
be 45, that is Response Error, for that information can be verified by checking
his or her driver’s license or other documents such as birth certificate.
In my academic studies, time and
again, men engaged more in Response Error than women did, namely they lied more
often than women did. I tend to subscribe to the firm belief that women are
more straightforward than men are. Honesty is one quality that Armenia direly
needs in its leaders.
In addition to gender difference,
Response Error studies have shown that young people distort more verifiable
information than older ones. Also, people who live in rural areas engage less
in Response Error than those who live in urban areas.
In the final analysis, on
account of the superior characteristics of women to serve in leadership roles,
maybe Armenia should try to elect a woman for the presidency or prime
minister’s office to avoid this time electing congenital, shameless liars bent
on pursuing their own personal gains.
Based on many of their admirable
traits, women would listen to the Diaspora better than men presidents for
women’s ego are not as overly inflated when they get into office. After all, we
have only male chauvinists, and no female chauvinists. As you know, power corrupts, and
absolute power corrupts absolutely, but men are more susceptible to that
temptation than women are.
After being elected
to the office, suppose the Armenian head of the government enlisted my help as
a Diaspora member to serve in a advisory position, I would suggest: he or she
should ask first of all two short questions about two little words that would
make a hell of a lot of difference about the national security situation:
“How safe are
the people?” “How secure are they?” Two little words would
make a whale of a difference for the destiny of the country.
As you know, both words
safe and secure mean free from danger. Nevertheless, there is a shade of
difference in the meanings between the two words. Safe suggests freedom from a present
danger (e.g., I felt safe as soon as I crossed the street, or we do not
feel safe with our current outdated weapons).
As for secure, it
suggests freedom from a possible future danger or risk (e.g., locks on
the door made us feel secure, or attack drones will make us feel secure against
a foreign aggression).
Any response that
shows weakness in our national “safety” and “security,”
will have to be treated as top priority of the country to begin solving them
immediately. Had Mr. Nikol Pashinyan asked these two little questions when he
became the prime minster in 2018, we would have been better prepared to face
the combined forces of Armenia’s adversary in 2020.
leader’s first and foremost responsibility is the safety and security of the
people, of the country, of the nation. Our Armenian leaders lack basic
knowledge and experience in leading a country surrounded by belligerent
security, like bread and shelter, come first, then building theaters and
operas or even roads and bridges for the country.
In my review of the
literature, I did not come across a single article or study which concluded
that women did not make better leaders.
Before we proceed any further, let
us define a woman. A
woman is is an adult human with intelligence, emotions, abilities, and drive to
excel with greater stamina than men are able to withstand a challenge. Many
large corporations in the US are led by women who persevered to shatter the
glass ceiling with patience, intelligence, and energy.
In view of her positive characteristics, one can conclude
that a woman leader is a shepherdess to nurture her country (e.g., Armenia) as
one of her own children.
The year 1991 marked
the first year when more female students began to attend colleges and
universities in the US than male students.
In every human endeavor, women are advancing by leaps and bounds. Women
have proven their worth in every discipline, including astronomy, athletics, entertainment,
writing, business, politics, science and technology, and so on.
Gender bias aside,
the above listed characteristics give us more than a glimpse of their grit and
perseverance. Even when faced with uneven playing fields, many women defied all
odds with their honesty, intelligence, boldness, hard work, and determination.
Many countries have chosen women as
president. Germany, UK, India, Pakistan, and some others have had no scandals
by women presidents.
Mao Zedong, former President of the People’s Republic of
China, once proclaimed, “Women hold up
half the sky.” He was referring to women being a resource that ought to
be utilized in the professional workforce. We probably should say: “Women
hold up most of the sky over the heads of men,” for bearing, rearing, and
nurturing the next generation of a nation.
Leadership cannot be gender specific – a person’s leadership
abilities should depend on their individual strengths and personality traits.
Yet, studies have shown that women often surpass men in leadership positions.
Armenia is facing a
sea of problems. Perhaps a women president or a prime minister would alleviate
its woes in terms of many national problems such as the economy, corruption, domestic
crimes, national security imperatives, etc.
should reach out to its Diaspora to serve as its last straw to save it from
drowning. As selfless Mother Teresa once said: “I alone cannot change the
world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” The
Armenian Diaspora is waiting for that leader to “cast the stone” so
that they come to the rescue of the kind of leader whose competence is based on
honesty, obligation, altruism, commitment, emotion, and shared vision for the
advancement of the Armenian nation.
As the woman in this picture does, a great leader lives in the future to ensure the safety and security of its people. Research findings show that women make not only good homemakers, but also great leaders in high-ranking positions. Armenia needs a leader able to energize the country to solve its current problems and get ready to face its genocidal enemies, who are now at the gates of Yerevan and Stepanakert. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, let us try to elect a woman president for Armenia, who has intelligence, decisiveness, and most importantly, honesty in conducting her presidential duties of the homelamnd.
By request the of Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian, we are printing Mr. Appo Jabarian’s comments about the subject matter of the article Toward a Woman President for Armenia:Dear Prof. Demirdjian, Apologies for delayed response as I am overwhelmed with multiple deadlines. I wholeheartedly support the idea! Bright! Indeed!
I am hereby scheduling it for publication. I’ve had it with the former Soviet/Ottoman mindset among certain Armenian male-chauvinistic, ignorant, self-centered, egomaniacs, unpatriotic, un-Armenian elements both in Armenia and Diaspora. And to top it all, these destructive elements have backstabbed their own people during the Fall 2020’s 44-Day Anti-Armenian Aggression by Azerbaijan-Turkey-ISIS in return for personal fortune. I am of firm belief now that the Armenians have not lost the war against the external enemy, but to treason!
In the post-44 period, personally, I have enlisted myself in the Armenian National Reconstruction Army (this army does not exist on paper but it has a de facto existence throughout the globe.). Like thousands of devoted Armenian soldiers, stationed in Armenia/Artsakh and Diaspora, I am dead set on forcefully participating in the eradication of the traitors within our Armenian Nation (Homeland+Diaspora). If they’re not eliminated, we will lose all our future wars — and ultimately, Armenia will lose its sovereignty. The march is on. All the best,Appo