WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) recently published a statement decrying the recent physical assaults upon two female members of Yerevan City Council.
On Feb. 13, city councilor Marina Khachatryan, along with her colleague Sona Aghekyan, were attacked by fellow councilmen during the first session of the Yerevan City Council. The attack came just as the two women were trying to bring samples of sewage (in glass jars) from the Nubarashen district in Yerevan to underscore the negligence of the mayor and the city government in failing to address the longstanding problem of leaking sewage from the nearby prison. This has become an enormous health hazard for everyone living in the vicinity.
“This outrageous behavior comes just shortly after Armenia passed legislation criminalizing domestic violence. This incident, along with prior cases of attacks on women protesters in various public settings, further exposes how public forums and political spaces in the country have frequently become unsafe places for women in Armenia. They reveal a systemic attempt to exclude women from public discourse and political decision-making,” read a part of the statement.
“This assault on elected female councilors was especially egregious, as the violence was committed by colleagues on the city council. Such violence against female activists must stop, as it corrodes the fragile democratic institutions in the country and intimidates women from entering politics,” the statement goes on.
For more information and to read the statement in its entirety, visit www.aiwainternational.org.