CSO Conference on the “Challenges of Gender Equality and Diversity in Post-Revolutionary Armenia”

From November 20 to December 10, the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO with the financial support of the Canadian Foundation for Local Initiatives (CFLI) was conducting a series of events on the theme “Equality and Diversity Festival.” On December 5, the eve of the International Human Rights Day, within the framework of the festival the RS NGO organized a conference on “Challenges of Gender Equality and Diversity in Post-Revolutionary Armenia” with representatives of diplomatic missions in Armenia, local and international human rights organizations, and other NGOs, transgender and LGBQ community members working in the field of equality.

The discussion began with the opening speech of the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO’s President Lilit Martirosyan. She thanked all human rights defenders, activists for proudly bearing the difficult task of promoting equality and diversity and attending the conference.

Afterwards, the representatives of the RA diplomatic missions welcomed the participants.

Argentinian Deputy Ambassador to Armenia Miguel Chilingarian has particularly noted that he gives great importance to such meetings and he is honored to be present in this conference. In his speech he has highlighted the hard work of the RS NGO team and expressed his gratitude for the contribution in the field of human rights.

After the welcoming remarks, the invited speakers touched upon the pre-selected topics on the agenda.

The first keynote speech was delivered by Pink Human Rights Defender NGO’s President Lilit Avetisyan and Lawyer Hasmik Petrosyan. They were presenting a report entitled “Hatespeech and False News in Post-Revolutionary Armenia”. After presenting the report, there was a discussion among the participants.

Then, a report on the “Issues of Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights in Different Groups in Armenia” was presented by Anush Poghosyan, an employee of Women’s Resource Center NGO.

RS NGO Lawyer, Advocate Arthur Margaryan presented the details of the NGO’s strategic trials, in particular the transgender men against the RA CARO body, the case against the inaction of law enforcement authorities in connection with threats of psychological violence after Lilit Martirosyan’s speech in the NA, etc. The participants asked questions that were of concern to them, and the RS NGO Advocate provided satisfactory answers.

Following was the speech by Arthur Andreasyan, Artistic Director of “Dance of Dignity” Social-Cultural, Youth NGO, who presented the report on “Social Entrepreneurship and Organizing Cultural Events for Equality and Diversity”.

Artak Arakelyan, the President of DiverCity Social-Cultural, Humanitarian NGO presented another report on culture, he spoke about the creation, activities, culture, anti-culture, subculture of the NGO and how the mainstream culture pursued the aforementioned.

Queer Lab NGO’s representative Arman Arshak-Shahbazyan spoke about the creation of the organization and its cultural activities in the field of diversity acceptance. A separate platform was provided for presenting the creative work of cultural organizations, where the Qeer Lab NGO presented their copyright posters.

Lara Aharonian, the President of Women’s Resource Center NGO and Hovhannes Madoyan, Head of the Anit-Discrimination and Equality coalition, also spoke during the discussion. They highly appreciated the importance of such meetings and expressed their gratitude for the invitation, spoke about the human rights situation in post-revolutionary Armenia. Also, a word was given to Anna Nikoghosyan, the founder of the Fem Library, who told about the foundation of the “Fem Library”, its activities and obstacles they faced every day in the fight for gender equality and global human rights.

The aforementioned topics were followed by several reports by RS NGO staff members. The first report was given by A. Gevorgyan, the Project and Programs Officer of the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO. He presented a report on “The Protection of the Rights of Ttransgender People”, which included the problems that human rights defenders faced by advocating the rights of transgender people. 

Besides, RS NGO’s Public Relations and Communications Specialist Emil Avetisyan presented the report on “Monitoring Hate Speech, Dangerous Speech and Insult to Transgender Persons”, which was also followed by heated discussions, questions and answers.

At the end of the conference, RS NGO’s President Lilit Martirosyan presented the projects implemented by “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO in the field of diversity and gender equality during the past year, the obstacles encountered during the implementation of these projects and, of course, their successes. Afterwards, Lilit Martirosyan expressed her gratitude to all the participants and hoped that the efforts and potential invested in that difficult task would never decrease, she wished everyone a good working mood and invited them to the next event with great pleasure.

“Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO kindly presented gifts to the participants of the conference for their hard work in the field of gender equality and diversity.

“Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO once again reaffirms the civil society partnerships and frequent organization of similar meetings and thanks all the representatives of the diplomatic missions, participants, speakers, transgender and LGBI community representatives who have dedicated their time and attended the conference.

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