WATERTOWN, Mass. – Earlier this month, Armenian authorities announced a domestic violence bill that would be voted on in the Parliament. The law would introduce criminal and administrative liability in Armenia. On this occasion, the Armenian Relief Society issued the following statement.
The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) welcomes the decision of the Republic of Armenia to enact a law aimed at combating domestic violence in the country. As a country which takes pride in giving women the right to vote during the First Republic in 1918 and even appointing a woman to a diplomatic position during a time when much of the developed world did not even have the right to vote, this overdue bill is an important stage towards gender equality. Moreover, throughout our history, Armenian women in particular have played an important role from leading as members of royalty during the medieval period, participating in the national liberation struggle, and being involved in the various aspects of our society. With their conviction and fervor, many of the women serving in the Parliament, who became ministers actively worked on developing the educational system of Armenia and working to take care of the displaced orphans from the Armenian Genocide.
Therefore, women must be allowed to live a life without fear of violence and unjust treatment so they can play their rightful roles as equal citizens of the world. It is clear that as a society, we must do everything in our power to ensure that every home is safe and this law is the first step to break the cycle of domestic violence.
As an international humanitarian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered with the United Nations (UN), we recognize that achieving global gender equality begins at home and should be prioritized on the national, regional, and international levels. The ARS is committed with renewed vigor to be a champion for women around the world and we stand ready to continue to implement and support initiatives to respect, protect, promote, and fulfill human rights.
We strongly recommend that the government pass the bill for the eradication of violence against women and continue to galvanize their political commitment to implement adequate resources to promote gender equality. Advancing women’s rights and the call for inclusion should be a priority to build inclusive economies and society for current and future generations.