“Hey, sweetie…so, you graduated, don’t you want to get married, have children, my girl?”

“You are a girl, why do you come home so late? It is 10 PM now! Did you go nuts?”

“Why do you need an education? Your husband does not care for your diploma, your looks are important, your cooking and caring!”

“Dear, apply for an entry-level positions in service… it does not fare well about yourself if you earn more than your husband.”

Thoka Maer

Dear sisters and readers,

Wherever you come from, no matter where you were brought up, what you played with as a kid, how hard you stretched your hands to books, what you prayed for, anxiety has always inhabited in your heart, anger in your mouth, and rebellion in your physicality…but what hindered you back? Why could not you speak up, push back for your right, for your choice, for your space?
I would love to start with saying that the world we live in is secure, welcoming and accepting for all of us, that diversity is celebrated, and that people’s approach is inclusive for all our sisters and brothers. But, it is NOT! 

Why is it so? Should we blame the patriarchy, our socium, our schooling institutions, people who school us or maybe the աղբ (trash) served on TV? Excuse my language, but we should call things by their names unless we don’t prioritize others and things more than ourselves.

If you my sister, is bothered like all of us in Armenia, if you are fed up with hearing “lower your voice, leave your dreams” kind of phrases, and want to live with a sense of dignity, respect, then here is the place to start, because our NGO’s goal is to educate, empower young women (women are subject to discrimination, violence MORE than men) to become active, involved in places where decisions are made. Please check out “Our Projects” to see how you can open up the bold and unfearful woman inside you through participating in our youth exchanges. 

  • What is this gender anyway? Why our media fill our eyes with it? Why should we not care at least?

In 2015 United Nations Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the UN these SDGs are “an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.” They recognize that “ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.” The 5th goal is about Gender Equality.

Gender is the umbrella term for all the socially constructed characteristics, norms, roles and relationships that are aligned with the characteristics of women and men. Each society and culture has its own understanding of women and men, and how they should be, act, live etc.

Sex is assigned by birth, it is one’s biology, which is anatomically and physically is different from the opposite sex. These two terms have been conflicting with each other, and if one does not recognize the border between, then the fact somebody might discriminate you just because of your sex which becomes the base of gender inequality is very high.

Սոֆի Մայթեսյան

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population, which means half of the entire human population. Research shows that 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15-49 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period and 49 countries currently have NO laws protecting women from domestic violence.

The National Assembly of Armenia adopted legislation aimed at combating domestic violence by introducing criminal and administrative liability against those found guilty of the newly defined crime in 2017.

If all aim to live and thrive in a world where everybody has equal opportunities to live a happy and decent life, where human is the highest value then the time to speak up and act out has come, BECAUSE meanwhile in that same Armenia there is a FEMICIDE; 100 women were killed in last 10 years in their families and preference and value over MALE children; 1400 girls are not born every year, because of the sex-selective abortion.

If these agitate you then consider them call to actions to stand up for your right to be as a free, independent, courageous, decisive woman as any man can be. By becoming a participant of DNA’s projects, you will find many like-minded people like you who are enthusiastic to get leadership skills to change spheres vicious to their wellness. 

More

The 1st Armenian feminist podcast – https://www.facebook.com/akanjogh/

The 1st Armenian feminist library, cafe – https://www.facebook.com/armfemlibrary/

The 1st Armenian feminist radio- https://womenofarmenia.org/

NGOs:

Society Without Violence – http://swv.am/index.php/en/

Coalition to stop violence against women – https://coalitionagainstviolence.org/en/home/

Women in Black, Armenia initiative – https://womeninblackarmenia.weebly.com/
Literary translated books on feminism:

We All Should Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Author: Mane Matevosyan