Tag Archives: 16 Days of Activism

From 30 November to 5 December 2016, the “ARTerial Road” cultural project held events in Gyumri, Shirak marz to promote the European values of equality, freedom of speech, tolerance and democracy through art. During those days, lectures, training, and master classes for local artists and art critics were held, in which Jirka Pfahl, a European artist from Leipzig, Germany, took part.  This cultural project was implemented by the Berlin Art Hotel in Gyumri and funded by the European Union.
On 5 December, Piotr Świtalski, the EU Ambassador, paid a visit to Gyumri to participate in the final events. The Ambassador first met with Gyumri Euroclub members, students and CSOs at the Berlin Art Hotel, where he chaired a discussion on human rights and domestic violence in Armenia.He then took part in a joint press conference with Alexan Ter-Minasyan, the Director of Berlin Art Hotel, and Jirka Pfahl.

2Ambassador welcomed the choice to hold events in Gyumri: ‘Through supporting this project, the EU Delegation to Armenia would like to signal its intent to be more involved in working in the Armenian marzes. We want to support more local initiatives, particularly in Gyumri. Now we are discussing with the Armenian government the so-called “Single Support Framework for EU support to Armenia from 2017-2020” – we would like to start focusing our assistance in one or two marzes, and Shirak is one of the candidates. Gyumri is the cultural capital of Armenia, the only city where there is a “Europe Square”. Don’t be surprised to see me more in Gyumri, or to see more EU projects carried out in Gyumri and Shirak marz’.

3Pfahl was very happy with his invitation to participate: ‘I was invited to convey European values, such as freedom of speech and democracy. We have to concentrate on people in this materialised world, and through our two-day workshops with local artists and young people we explored long-term possibilities and how to connect democratic values. I hope that we will be one of the best examples in the world for how to live in an open and peaceful way where art, culture and our children’s future develop freely within the natural environment’.

“ARTerial Road”ended with the launch of an art exhibition on human rights at the Berlin Art Hotel, which, after the press conference, all invitees had the opportunity to enjoy.

On 25 November the world stood together against gender-based violence (GBV) by launching the ’16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’ international campaign. This is an annual event which invites individuals and organisations to hold events aiming to draw public attention to this issue.
Representatives of the international community gathered to start the campaign and raise awareness about the verbal and physical violence and abuse that Armenian women and girls face. They also renewed their commitment to working with Armenian partners to protect the rights of women and girls, as well as to promoting women’s empowerment in Armenia.

ars_8098Dirk Lorenz, the Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, welcomed the launch of the campaign: ‘Domestic violence and violence against women continue to be serious challenges. We are ready to help Armenia, and that’s why we have implemented the first human rights budget sector support programme. We are contributing to reform efforts, one of which is the adoption of the Law on Domestic Violence. While we welcome the efforts of the Armenian government, we feel that the situation is not progressing as quickly as we had hoped. We are looking forward to seeing a new Draft Law on Domestic Violence and renewed energy towards completing this process’.
Bradley Busetto, the UN resident Coordinator in Armenia, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the United Nations Armenia office, the US and UK Embassies, the OSCE office in Yerevan, and the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan.
On 2 December, within the framework of the campaign, the EU Delegation to Armenia held events in Vanadzor. That day Ambassador Piotr Świtalski met with Euroclub members, students and CSOs in Vanadzor. The Ambassador discussed domestic violence in Armenia and answered participants’ questions.
Ambassador Świtalski later attended the “Music plays against Domestic Violence” classical concert with Aram Khachaturian trio in Vanadzor, where he shared the EU’s vision for women’s empowerment in the country: ‘When you look at legislation in Armenia, women enjoy equal rights. However, in reality, pressure, discrimination and outdated thinking is still prevalent against women. The European Union promotes women’s empowerment – women are the biggest unused potential in Armenia. Therefore,we want to support the involvement of women in politics, business and all other sectors. It’s not a coincidence that most of the pieces of music we will hear tonight have been composed by women’.
The ‘16 Days of Activism’ campaign runs from 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, International Human Rights Day.