Our first visit of the day was to meet with representatives of The Armenian Young Women’s Association (AYWA) which “is a non-profit, non-governmental organization comprised of young women united in their determination to improve the status of women in Armenia, regardless of political affiliation, educational/cultural background, ethnic origin or religious outlook. AYWA's missions to lead social change and to achieve equality of opportunity and reward for all Armenian women, is an integral element in transforming into a just and productive society for all.” Their mission is to “increase the role of women in Armenian society” through economic entrepreneurship and leadership development, social enterprise and micro grants focused on vulnerable groups, and business start-up assistance. AYWA’s outreach also includes health advocacy and community organization assistance for women between the ages of 13 and 40.
They founded the Women’s Entrepreneur Network and will host the International Women’s Congress in Armenia in April 2019.
From AYWA, we went to meet with representatives of the Human Rights Common Platform. In a country scourged by conflict, genocide, and severe social and political restrictions, The Human Rights Common Platform, founded by Tatev Tatulyan in 2014, is a social, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Yerevan that focuses on supporting, raising awareness and advocating for human rights, peace and equality for all Armenians through community activities, arts events, film and education programs, and by collaborating with other international organizations.
Their stated goal is to “create a platform to encourage democratic participation, to develop civic consciousness, human rights values and to reach social justice for all.” They focus on LBTQIA rights, women's rights, art and activism. This group of young volunteers impressed us all and was one of the recipients of our Mary Pomeroy Award.
We then went on to meet with the Public Journalism Club (PJC), a non-governmental organization, co-founded by Seda Muradyan in 2011, “to promote freedom of expression, diversity and pluralism, build a media literate society, facilitate the development of a stronger civil society and support processes aimed at the democratization of the region and establishment of a dialogue, mutual understanding and peace”. Their vision is for a “democratic Armenia which enjoys peace, welfare and an active, well-educated and competitive civil society cooperating with mass media to become a real watchdog while state structures have transparent activities and accountability”. Seda hosted a round table discussion for members of the Delegation and her fellow PJC members.
[Cherie Riesenberg, Recorder]