March has been a hectic month at Women’s Resource Center in Armenia,
8 March is not the only date here devoted to women, also 7th of April has a similar content, so the entire month is seen as women’s month.
International women’s day is celebrated in the country since the 20′s after being introduced by Soviet as a result of the demonstrations in St Petersburg 1917. Women’s day, or Working Women’s day as it was originally called, was during the time an utterly political day with slogans such as “8th of March is the day of rebellion of working women against kitchen slavery” or “Say NO to the oppression and vacuity of household work!”.
When Armenia became independent it tried to substitute International Women’s day by instead introducing 7th of April as a day for “motherhood and beauty” since 8th of March had such a strong connection with previous Soviet oppression. However, 8th of March stayed within the population and now the country has two days which is mainly devoted to buying your girlfriend flowers or you wife a new dishwasher (since you get 8′th of March discounts) rather than a day for equal rights and the liberation of women.
At Women’s Resource Center they reason a bit differently than the main population so the entire month has been devoted to different activities to strengthen their work against gender inequality and pro women’s rights with marches, seminars, discussions, lectures and film screenings.
The march on International Women’s day went under the slogan “amot che” which translates to “it’s not shameful” as a way of addressing the shame culture that exists in Armenian society today and which consists of a strong social control over how both genders should behave and act.