You are currently viewing On the Right Track: a cooperation between the WFA and Calala foundation

On the Right Track: a cooperation between the WFA and Calala foundation

Since the beginning of 2022, Women’s Fund Armenia is implementing the project called “On the Right Track: Establishing a European-Latin American Alliance of Women’s Funds to defend human rights and the values of democracy, freedom and diversity from the attack of the rising religious conservatism and the right-wing” in cooperation with Calala foundation. Within this grant program, a number of initiatives (mostly research) are being carried out by our following partners:

  1. Socioscope NGO – “Anti-gender campaigns after the second Nagorno-Karabakh war” – Since 2018, Socioscope NGO, noticing the sharp rise in anti-gender campaigns and rhetoric in post-revolutionary Armenia, took the issue into the spotlight and began researching it. The organization has monitored and analyzed the rise of right-wing, anti-gender campaigns, the rhetoric, manifestations, and objectives of those groups in post-revolutionary Armenia. The purpose of the project is to continue studying the existing anti-gender, anti-rights narratives in Armenia in the context of Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Covid-19 pandemic, and in the framework of internal and external politics. Socioscope will monitor, gather those narratives, analyze them, based on which recommendations will be developed and shared with stakeholders.
  2. Ani Barsegian – “Linguistic Desacralization as a Means of Reducing Gender-Based Aggression”: research – Cases of gender-based violence are often accompanied by public accusations against the ՛՛victim՛՛ and criticism of the ՛՛victim՛՛ and his/her behavior. Gender-based hate speech and swearing are part of the criticism, the normalization and sharp perception of which have not yet been deeply studied in the Armenian context. The aim of the research is to qualitatively study the polarized images of women: 1. the image of the sacral / holy mother / virgin, 2. the image of a woman subjected to sexual harassment and other labeling. There is a hypothesis that the reduction of polarization may be the basis for a healthier  perception of the marginalized group of women, resulting in a reduction in cases of violence. The aim of the research is to study the international experience in the field of language desacralization, depolarization and as a result the tendencies of reduction of violence. The program aims to identify the possibility of mitigating attitudes towards women that negatively describe a woman.
  3. Lilit Hakobyan – “The gender aspect of nationalist content in education in the villages of Armenia” – In post-Soviet Armenia, the notions of building a nation-state have fostered nationalist discourses in social and political domains since the late 80s and early 90s. The national movement of independence, the two wars in Nagorno-Karabakh region (a conflict zone between Armenia and Azerbaijan), and the constant clashes in the border with Azerbaijan exacerbate nationalist agendas. The latter, being grounded on the notions of protecting nationality through physical power and violence, are highly gendered. Gendered nationalist discourses cause the reinforcement of male power, thus creating an environment for women’s and queer people’s exclusion and oppression. This research aims to reveal and analyze those discourses in the context of public education in rural Armenia. The latter is a prominent device of ideological reproduction, given the fact that the monopoly of public education in rural Armenia belongs to those in political power. Research seeks to answer the following questions: 1. What are the key ideologies underlying gendered nationalist public education in rural Armenia? 2. Through what discursive techniques are these ideologies generated and utilized within public education? The research will reveal how the general education environment promotes and reproduces the gender stereotypes in Armenian society by promoting nationalist ideas. For that purpose, the ideologies underlying the events implemented on the occasion of national holidays and remembrance days in rural schools of Armenia will be studied.
  4. “Girls talk” initiative – “Women are talking: monologues” – The main purpose of the project is self-expression and self-care for women and girls, which will help to create a space for their interests and/or disturbing topics. The program aims not only to raise ongoing problems but also organize meetings and discussions on the patriarchal system and the roles and norms it gives to women. During the project, the stories of women with different backgrounds and experiences will be shared with the participants. Also, the project aims to develop the public speaking and storytelling capacities of participants and empower them. Within the framework of the project, it is planned to implement women’s monologues on their experiences. True stories will be shared, collected from the Women’s Resource Center and based on participants’ personal experiences.