HDIF: Empowering Women in Rural Armenia

The Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF) launched a campaign to empower women in rural Armenia through the creation of jobs using traditional techniques and materials. HDIF has highlighted the story of Manush of Goghvit, a disabled woman who is able to help her community through her handicraft work.

Manush knitting a sweather
Manush knitting a sweather

Manush was born in Goghvit, and has been disabled since that day. But she has not let her disability hold her back. Manush has made it through life with her determination and strength. HDIF was introduced to Manush by Women for Development in early 2013. Her first project was to produce sweaters for someone in Moscow. HDIF provided designs for sweaters on pieces of graph paper and beautifully crafted sweaters in traditional Armenian themes were sent to HDIF’s clients.

That same year, Orange Armenia contacted HDIF to ask for knitted tea warmers in Orange Armenia’s company colors to give as gifts. HDIF asked Manush to make the tea warmers, and she gathered the ladies of Goghvit and knitted tea warmers for three whole months. The work they did provided them with an income to live comfortably that winter. Manush became a real asset to her community by becoming a job creator.

Unemployment is disproportionate amongst men and women, with women constituting 70 percent of the officially registered unemployed, according to HDIF.

To support HDIF’s initiative, visit www.globalgiving.org/projects/women-economic-empowerment.


Keri Kaligian

Keri Kaligian was born in Massachusetts and has lived in Watertown for most of his life. He is currently a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working on his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. Keri has interests in organic chemistry and mystery novels, and is a big fan of Agatha Christie's stories involving Hercule Poirot. He is currently interning at the Armenian Weekly.


  1. Armenian woman can do anything a man does only better.
    sorry but I have no respect to our leadership in the homeland or in the diaspora, and the reason is not enough woman in authority and decision making.and that includes the church starting at the top

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