Armenian Relief Society Marks Women’s Day

An old photo of members of the ARS.
An old photo of members of the ARS.

An old photo of members of the ARS.

WATERTOWN — This “Day”, started since more than a century ago, on every March 8, has brought together women of the civilized world to raise their voices collectively, under one banner, in demand of equal rights.

Thus, in New York City, six years before World War I, in March, 1908, around 1,500 placard-bearing women were marching for an increase of meager wages, a decrease of long working hours, and the right to vote, thus far an unreachable goal for them.

This unprecedented phenomenon was unraveling in the very same city of the New World, where, barely two years later, Aknuni, an ARF field worker, was to found a vigorous women’s organization, the present global structure of which is today known as Armenian Relief Society.

Over the years, across the progressive countries of Europe and the American Continent, this international “Day” of women, moving ahead with the robust progress of International Socialism, was to gain international recognition, enhancing the on-going struggle for the legitimation of women’s human, social, and political rights.

Here, we can proudly mention, that long before many “progressive” countries of the day, in the year 1918, the Constitution of the First Republic of Armenia already recognized and put to practice the equality of men and women in the right to vote, and be elected.

It is sad to say, that in spite of certain progress achieved in various areas, there is a long road ahead of us before legitimized rights are put to practice in the real world, both on the socioeconomic and political levels.

To this day, women’s inalienable rights remain out of reach in many countries, prompting the United Nations Organization’s Committee of the Status of Women (CSW) – in which the ARS remains active, in the ranks of the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) – to annually convene an international conference to examine assess and improve the status of women everywhere; a conference, to which the ARS brings its active participation on all levels.

On this occasion, the ARS Central Executive Board extends its best wishes to its diligent entities throughout the world, to all Armenian mothers, sisters and daughters actively involved in implementing ARS-initiated programs in the Diaspora and the Homeland, encouraging them to continue their struggle until the realization of a just and egalitarian world society, where men, women and children are equally guaranteed a free, productive and prosperous life.

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