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Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO with the financial support of the Equality Fund carried out Women* Are Diverse. Gender-Inclusive Empowerment Camp aimed to impart leadership skills and empower individuals operating in various sectors. This camp was a continuation of the Trans Camps initiated by the Right Side NGO and this year was held in the format of an academy, which gave the participants the opportunity to study more deeply and gain comprehensive knowledge about gender issues, LGBTIQ activism in the region, human rights, feminism, and other topics included in the agenda. About 30 trans, non-binary, women, their family members, activists, members of the feminist movement, representatives of industry organizations, supporters, and other interested persons participated in the Women* Are Diverse. Gender-Inclusive Empowerment Camp.
The first day of the camp started with a panel discussion on human rights, during which Sona Harutyunyan from the legal team of Right Side NGO presented the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the necessary skills to prevent cases of rights violations, and also mentioned what important changes have taken place in the new in the criminal code. Then, through group discussions, the participants analyzed the situation of the trans and LGBIQ movement in Armenia and what steps can be taken to empower it. There were meetings with representatives of the sex worker community, discussions on innovative activism practices, and the development of effective communication skills. On the second day of the academy, a panel discussion was held with representatives of the organizations operating in the field, with the participation of the Global Foundation for Trans Rights Protection Protection, Pink Human Rights Defender NGO, and Parents for Equality NGO, moderated by Lilit Martirosyan, the founder and president of Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO. The representatives of organizations presented in detail what services they provide to the beneficiaries, how LGBTIQ community members and supporters can cooperate with them, and listened to the recommendations of the camp participants. Discussions were held regarding the prevention of ongoing discrimination and violence against Trans and LGBIQ persons and the development of effective and quick response mechanisms to support victims. After the panel meeting, discussions were held on feminism and transfeminism in Armenia, leadership and advocacy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. At the end of each panel meeting, the participants had the opportunity to brainstorm their concerns with the speakers involved and receive answers. In addition, the two-day camp created an opportunity for the participants to talk about intrapersonal problems in the LGBTIQ community and ways to solve them, resulting in strengthened bonds.
At the end of the Women* Are Diverse. Gender-Inclusive Empowerment Camp, Lilit Martirosyan made a closing speech, handed over certificates, thanked all the participants for their active participation, noting the great importance of education and self-education in building a free, democratic country and an inclusive society, then added that Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, being the first Trans organization in RA and the Caucasus, will spare no effort in implementing educational programs also in the future that will lead to reforms for the benefit of Trans LGBIQ people so that the members of the community live a safe and prosperous life.
September 06, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan