Empowering young women in rural areas | EUNewsletter

Empowering young women in rural areas

16 September 2010
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For a society to develop and progress, women’s role needs to be respected within. Even though Armenian legislation refers to women’s rights, legal aspects and daily habits often clash. Today many women remain uninformed about their rights and find their activities constrained, particularly in the regions and rural communities.
In order to promote women’s role in society, the Civil Society Development Center NGO initiated a programme for “Empowering young women in rural areas” with the support of the EU. Its long-term objective is to assist democratic development through civil education, and help women become proactive citizens. The programme was launched in 2009 and will last until March 2012. Participants are girls and young women aged between 17 and 25 from mainly vulnerable families in 31 Armenian cities and rural communities.
The programme is particularly important for these communities, because it is there that women’s unemployment reaches a peak. The regions have the lowest level of business controlled by women-entrepreneurs and women in general do not participate in the socio-economical development of the community sufficiently. To involve as many participants as possible, CSDC organised initial visits to all cities and the country side and acquainted the target group with the concept of the programme.
Activities have so far included seminars on human rights, gender equality, leadership as well as workshops on funding and leading teams. Trainings of trainers, sessions in Yerevan, and publishing training materials and books were also organised in the scope of the programme. The seminars have helped young women discover their abilities and aspire to be active participants in civil society and get involved in public development. The workshops allowed women “express their own thoughts and opinions freely and easily, an essential factor in self-assertion,” stressed Oksanna Veziryan and Susanna Hakobyan from the “Yerkyak” Youth NGO.

Results until now have also inspired ideas for future cooperation among young women. “As a continuation of the programme, establishing schools for women leadership in the regions of Armenia would be appreciated” suggested Aida Atabekyan from Dilijan. Others suggested organising future training focusing on women’s rights protection.

Empowering young women in rural areas

For a society to develop and progress, women’s role needs to be respected within. Even though Armenian legislation refers to women’s rights, legal aspects and daily habits often clash. Today many women remain uninformed about their rights and find their activities constrained, particularly in the regions and rural communities. In order to promote women’s role in society, the Civil Society Development Center NGO initiated a programme for “Empowering young women in rural areas” with the support of the EU. Its long-term objective is to assist democratic development through civil education, and help women become proactive citizens. The programme was launched in 2009 and will last until March 2012. Participants are girls and young women aged between 17 and 25 from mainly vulnerable families in 31 Armenian cities and rural communities. The programme is particularly important for these communities, because it is there that women’s unemployment reaches a peak. The regions have the lowest level of business controlled by women-entrepreneurs and women in general do not participate in the socio-economical development of the community sufficiently. To involve as many participants as possible, CSDC organised initial visits to all cities and the country side and acquainted the target group with the concept of the programme. Activities have so far included seminars on human rights, gender equality, leadership as well as workshops on funding and leading teams. Trainings of trainers, sessions in Yerevan, and publishing training materials and books were also organised in the scope of the programme. The seminars have helped young women discover their abilities and aspire to be active participants in civil society and get involved in public development. The workshops allowed women “express their own thoughts and opinions freely and easily, an essential factor in self-assertion,” stressed Oksanna Veziryan and Susanna Hakobyan from the “Yerkyak” Youth NGO. Results until now have also inspired ideas for future cooperation among young women. “As a continuation of the programme, establishing schools for women leadership in the regions of Armenia would be appreciated” suggested Aida Atabekyan from Dilijan. Others suggested organising future training focusing on women’s rights protection.