First Ladies of Armenia and Azerbaijan are at the top of a list of the most influential women of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), created by Russian MIR television.
According to MIR TV, the First Lady of Armenia was not particularly interested in political activity. Rita Sargsyan focuses mainly on charity work and promotion of Armenian culture. She started her professional career as a music teacher, which her current work reflects. As the First Lady, Rita Sargsyan organizes concerts benefiting underprivileged, war orphans, handicapped children and families with many children.
Contrary to her Armenian counterpart, Mehriban Aliyeva plays an active role in political life of Azerbaijan: she is a deputy in the National Assembly, where she leads a working group for parliamentary cooperation between Azerbaijan and France. Yet Mrs Aliyeva does not avoid engagement in charity – she heads a foundation named in memory of her father -in-law Heydar Aliyev and also the Azerbaijani Culture Foundation. As a former athlete, the First Lady leads also the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation. To crown it all, Mehriban Aliyeva is the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and supports the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The two Caucasian First Ladies are on the list made by MIR TV among other influential women, for instance ex-PM of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, Russian TV host Kseniya Sobchak and prima donna Alla Pugacheva.
Translated by KD