Women’s month in Armenia

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!”.

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„TAKE RESPONSIBILITY – GET INVOLVED“

ZANOSS – 8th of March Conference in MontenegroDemonstration 8th of March in Montenegro

Fourth year in a row, ANIMA – Centre for Women’s and Peace Education from Kotor organizes 8th of the March conference with support of Kvinna till Kvinna.

The aim, was four years ago and still is, to empower Women Movement in Montenegro and raise some important issues such as affirmation the 8th of March as political holiday, increase visibility of women’s activism and political influence and define common platform for actions.

Although Montenegro is in accession process to EU, situation in very difficult for all. Montenegro society lacks in freedom of speech, security for journalist and activists, transparency and serious efforts to deal with corruptions still. Processes of the peace building and facing the past are insufficient and too slow. Some off the consequences – women are still being excluded and marginalized, discriminated in many levels. Conference gathers those women who are invisible for political and social elites, whose demands, related to achieving their rights, are not being respected.

Participants were: activists- from women NGOs, Roma women, disable women, women from rural areas, single mothers, refugees, strikers, independent intellectuals, journalists, representatives of international organizations and Gender Equality Mechanisms.

This year conference is named as ZANOSS[1] – (znanje, akcija, nenasilje, odgovornost, saosjećanje, sloboda – knowledge, action, nonviolence, responsibility, empathy, freedom) as values affirmed by.

In these three days they speak about continuity of women`s resistance and rights, role of knowledge and education in Women`s Movement and its effects, CEDAW Shadow report presented last year in Geneva and related future common actions in local communities.

During the conference they organizes street march asking people to “take responsibilities – get involve” to think, to criticize society form the perspective of everyday life, to open free space for the debate. They raise the question of the responsibility of the politicians and government for the unemployment and poverty, which has largely increased during the transition period. They raise the question of facing the past and peace building in Montenegro society.

After the steer action, on of the participant, activist form Bjelo Polje, said: “This is third year for me to participate on 8th of the March conference. First year I was so afraid, for me, my friends, but now, I’m not. I can see the difference and how this conference empowered me, us. Each year we know more about our rights, we are more organize and stronger.”

 

Maja Stajcic Riza Aragon


[1] ZANOS in Serbian means enthusiasm, ecstasy, exaltation