In the fall of 2010, women in Armenia raised their voices to protest the murder of 20-year-old Zaruhi Petrosyan at the hands of her husband. According to one news outlet, the “accused culprit in the young woman’s death would have most probably remained unpunished if not for the internet community’s united effort – a letter with 5,000 signatures demanding a serious investigation of the case.”
The efforts to raise awareness of the problem of violence against women in Armenia have continued since then. A Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women in Armenia was formed and was active during the 16 Days of Activism in 2010. According to a report from the United Human Rights Council, Armenia is the only country in the south Caucasus region without a domestic violence law or protection order, a situation the coalition hopes to change.
The Women’s Resource Center in Yerevan, a member of the coalition, recently announced another initiative to raise awareness of violence against women: the first-ever production of The Vagina Monologues in Armenia. Together with partner organizations in Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Women’s Resource Center has arranged for translation and production of the play into the native language and dialects of each region. To read more about the production, click here.
As the case of Zaruhi Petrosyan shows, every individual action—whether signing a petition or attending a play—can make a significant difference in the effort to end violence against women.
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