April 7 marks Mother’s Day in Armenia and Artsakh so hundreds of women joined a peaceful demonstration in Stepanakert organized by the Artsakh Mothers Club and marched toward the blockaded section of the road leading to Shushi.
“We wake up every day fearing whether we are going to become widows or lose a child,” Maria Abrahamyan, one of the women protesters told Armenpress on Friday.
The demonstration called for respecting the right to self-determination and fundamental rights of the Armenians of Artsakh, opening of the only road linking Artsakh with Armenia – which has been blocked for 117 days – and preventing Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy.
Participants of the demonstration first visited the Stepanakert Military Pantheon-Memorial, where they honored the fallen troops.
“The lack of gas, the power outages and food shortages that our children have been facing for a long time now aren’t as concerning as this uncertainty and Azerbaijan’s policy, which is getting worse day by day,” Abrahamyan added. “We, the women of Artsakh, will not remain silent, we will struggle. We owe it to our sons. We will not allow the depopulation of Armenians from our historic land. Unfortunately this is the only way to raise our voice to the world.”
“We will not surrender, our will is unbreakable,” said Abrahamyan.
“The people of Artsakh made their decision in 1988, by severing ties with the Azerbaijani aggressor, and there is no turning back. As long as we are standing here, as long as we are speaking Armenian and have our own national religion and symbols, Artsakh will not be part of Azerbaijan,” she said, adding that while women in other countries around the world are concerned about career and personal welfare, in a parallel reality women in Artsakh are concerned about their very existence.
Kristine Balayan, another participant of the demonstration, said the world must hear the voice of Artsakh. “We have the right to life and the world must hear us.”
“Our children have the right to freedom of movement, but aggressor Aliyev has closed the road of life and tries to decide who can pass. The world must stand by our side, the international community must extend a helping hand to one another because life is a boomerang, if this happens to someone else then no one will stand by them again,” Balayan added.