Stopping Gender-Based Violence: AIWA Decries Recent Violence at Yerevan City Council

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, a brawl unfolded during the year’s first session of the Yerevan City Council (Photo: Photolure)

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.

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2 Comments

  1. This incident is symptomatic of the larger issue women are treated. This is a national disgrace to think that the same nation that revers our mothers and grandmothers , could tolerate such barbaric activity. Assaulting anyone is uncivilized, but to take gender bias to the point of violence is very sad. Improving the quality of our society is equally important to our political matters. The legislation is good first step but our value on respect must improve. Real change happens when the power shifts or is redistributed. It will happen in Armenia and we can all help this transition by standing up for human rights.

  2. This is absolutely amazing. One would believe this type of behavior would no longer be taking place, especially in a country that has made so many positive strides in the last 200 years.

    “Shaking my head”

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