Peace culture

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Call to Armenian Society

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Together we condemn the police violence against the mothers of deceased soldiers

We strongly condemn the continuous violent acts and inhuman behavior against the mothers of the soldiers that died in non-combat situations while serving our country in the army. We demand immediate measures be taken to eliminate this form of police aggression, avoid similar behavior and that public criminal proceedings be started against those who committed this violence against the mothers of deceased soldiers.

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We consider it intolerable that such an atmosphere of impunity has developed where issues like this are settled by violence against the citizens of this democratic country.

We consider it unacceptable the sponsorship and support of violent and illegal actions practiced by the RA Prosecutor’s office and the RA Police against the parents and the “legal” arguments brought against them.

 

We demand:

The RA Prosecutor’s office and the RA Special Investigation Service

start criminal proceedings against the police officers involved in these incidents.

The RA Police

  • Take all necessary and possible precautionary measures to eliminate such behavior in the future.
  • Publicly apologize to the mothers of the soldiers that died in non-combat situations in the army.

 

As a reminder

  1. 1.    On May 13, 2015 at approximately 13:45-14:05 five parents of soldiers who died in non-combat situations in the RA army went to the Presidential residence on Baghramyan 26 and approached the security checkpoint located about 10 meters from the main building. The parents did not make noise, did not use a loudspeaker nor did they hinder traffic in the area.
  2. 2.    The parents asked the police officers guarding the Presidential residence to call someone who could inform them when and how they could receive answers to the inquiries they had sent to the President in January of 2015.
  3. 3.    The police officers considered the actions of the parents an illegal protest in a restricted area and demanded that they move to the opposite sidewalk.
  4. 4.    Right after the demand the police officers forcibly seized the deceased soldiers’ mothers and moved them to the other side of the street dragging them across the street. (Watch the video http://www.epress.am/2015/05/13/264953.html)
  5. 5.    It is important to note that the police officers have practiced illegal actions against the mothers of the deceased soldiers before. On February 11, 2015 the police officers in a similar manner forcibly moved the parents of the deceased soldiers from the area of the RA Presidential residence. (http://www.a1plus.am/1365146.html):
  6. 6.    In a response to the report regarding the incident, the RA Police informed the public that disciplinary punishment was given to two police officers, however the police refused to provide copies of the decrees of the RA Chief of Police on the disciplinary sanctions mentioned. 

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Against Violation of Law NGO

Journalists for Human Rights NGO

Veles NGO

Armenian Constitutional Right Center NGO

Protection of Rights without Borders’ NGO

Society without Violence NGO

Women in Black  Armenia movement

Guarantee Center of Civil Society NGO

United colors of Youth NGO

“Spitak Helsinki Group” Human Rights NGO.

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Meeting-discussion 10.05.15

IMG_7997The members of the Women In Black Armenia gathered with the whole group in the office of SWV during which they discussed various issues connected with the activity of the group, their future actions, aims etc.. During the meeting they fixed the ideas and values of the WIB movement. During the discussion the group offered a lot of new and interesting initiatives and program-plans. The Armenian group of the WIB now is ready to implement all their plans.

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Women in Black India

Inspired by the worldwide Women in Black movement, in March 1993, AWHRC along with Vimochana initiated the first Women in Black action in Bangalore, India. Since then every Thursday, every week, women in Bangalore have stood protesting the many forms of violence which are increasingly becoming intrinsic to our everyday realities in our different cultures and communities.WIB-against-Trafficking-1

We women are breaking the silence and naming the violence. Making public the many forms of personal violence against women – wife battering, dowry deaths, female circumcision, pornography, sexual assault, rape – unmasking the horrific faces of legitimate violence, state repression, communalism, ethnic cleansing, nationalism, wars….Violence in the name of development , in the name of reproductive technologies, genetic engineering and the feminisation of poverty through silent protest through postcards, pamphlets, placards, lamps and diyas are used as an expression of this collective rebellion and resistance.

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Source:  http://www.womeninblack.in/intl.htm

http://www.womeninblack.in/aboutus.htm

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SPECULATING WITH LAND OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

wib logo

Women in Black are concerned about the ultimate use for the land where the old barracks of the Campamento are located, which is property of the Ministry of Defense. Both the government of the Community of Madrid and the City Council have given permits for the sale, which lacks only the financial agreement with the Chinese businessman Wang Jian. The haste with which the governors of the nation are acting in this matter is highly suspicious. It is a matter, once again, of disregarding social demands and public interest. Thousands of people, especially the young people of the working class neighborhood, had their hopes set on obtaining public housing and better public services as a result of the so-called Operation Campamento.

 

The expectations of the citizens, as is becoming habitual, will be sacrificed in favor of the market and war weapons interests of the present government.

 

Women in Black reject the sale of those lands be sold to a capitalist enterprise, which will build a version of Eurovegas, a complex for gaming that will not provide honorable employment, but will be governed by the laws of the Mafia, as has been the case in other locations. It seems all the more serious to us that through this Operation, Defense will pocket millions that it will use for more weapons and more wars.

 

To all appearances, we live in a country at peace, whose army dedicates itself solely to humanitarian aid. The reality, however, is quite different. The deaths of Spanish soldiers, most recently in Lebanon, have made clear our participation in armed conflicts in which our soldiers intervene and are exposed, often losing their lives. Another example of the participation of our army in international armed conflicts is the recent deployment of soldiers to Iraq, with the further aggravating factor that these troops carry diplomatic passports and will enjoy impunity.

 

We ask ourselves if in these and other missions Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, approved by the Security Council of the United Nations, binding for all member countries, has been taken into account, and in what way has this Resolution been applied, the goal of which is to assure protection and respect for the human rights of women and children. How have the personnel who will participate in international actions been prepared? What team of gender experts are members of the groups?

 

 

Women in Black want:

 

♀ That the government clarify what our troops are really doing abroad and what precautions are being taken to guarantee the effective application of R1325.

 

♀That the assets of all not be squandered in enriching the few.

 

♀That international conflicts be resolved through negotiation and dialog and not by sending troops.

 

Madrid, 22 February 2015.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA

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Articel about WIB Armenia on Mamacash webpage: “The next generation Women in Black”

fgbs (480x640)On a clear and chilly day, women gather at Republic Square, a large central town plaza in Armenia’s capital city, Yerevan, that hosts the Ministries of Finance, Government, Transport, Foreign Affairs, and Territorial Administration. The women are silent. Peaceful. Their purpose: to protest war and political conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, while also claiming both their prerogative to shape political decision making and their entitlement to fundamental human rights.

Armenia is one of the latest chapters to join the Women in Black (WiB) movement, a worldwide network of women committed to ending violence through peaceful means—vigils, educational opportunities, public programs, as well as support and partnership with both global WiB organizations and other human-rights agencies. While most groups are composed of mothers and grandmothers, the Armenian chapter is driven by the passionate young women and girls who set up, in 2001, Society without Violence (SWV). This group of young disenfranchised women, marginalized by an exclusive and rigid patriarchy, conjured their collective strength and organized to educate the young women and girls living in remote regions of Armenia. It was almost inconceivable that they would succeed. But they have managed to interrupt an ideological system aimed at systematically silencing them.

The cold hard fact, the roadblock that WiB Armenia continue to confront, is that in the capital, especially in more secluded border towns (near Azerbijan, Turkey and Iran), women are regularly subject to domestic violence, sexual trafficking and political isolation, along with educational, professional and vocational restrictions. Women living in conflict-ridden regions lack access to education, employment, health and housing. They are isolated from development initiatives, including those aimed at strengthening women’s rights (Society Without Violence, Women Count: Civil Society Monitoring Report 2013, Republic of Armenia). In addition, because the Armenian economy remains weak as a result of blocked borders, a number of the region’s men travel to work abroad, while women are left to domestic service trades, which do not provide for sick or maternity leave or pension benefits.

This situation gains traction from the insidious and widespread belief that women are somehow “less than”—that they belong in the domestic sphere and have no place in public conversations. WiB Armenia has made interrupting this belief their core focus. This, because that belief manifests in a political engine dominated by men. Although the population is 52% female, women are virtually absent in political decision-making. Because women are not present to represent their own human interests, there is a significant lack of momentum with regards to women’s civil and political rights, despite some movement regarding reproductive and maternal health. Such beliefs also give rise to an increased rate in what are certainly tragic sex-selective abortions (in 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called specifically on Armenia to provide both support and awareness-raising initiatives with regards to these abortions). In addition, SWV’s 2011 Survey Regarding Gender Stereotypesindicates that almost 44% of women believe that women provoke men to beat them; 60% of men and 40% of women believe that women cannot be effective leaders; and nearly 64% of women regret that they are not a man.

Despite these significant obstacles, WiB is changing things in Armenia. In direct protest both to the war and to the insistence that “women stay out of politics,” these young women participated in the 2014 Peace Walk to End War. They were targeted and castigated by the press as “betrayers to the Nation.”   Since 2012, WiB has engaged a number of young women in political action, both training and educating them regarding their rights and organizing skills. They’ve put together meetings along the border regions of Iran and Azerbaijam to inform girls and young women about the international WiB movement, activism and organization.

The SWV and WiB have created the first platform for young Armenian women activists to participate in public dialogues—even to set the terms of these conversations. They hold regular wakes and vigils for victims of violence. The many members between the ages of 16 and 27 have developed innovative actions, from flash mobs to public performances. They’re using art and the power of their own numbers to push for a new gender equality and legislative actions to support that agenda. Now, girls and young women in Armenia, despite considerable barriers, have claimed a public voice and provided a new and rejuvenated impulse to the WiB movement.  These young women are, in their own words, “feminists, activists, and human rights defenders who are reformulating the idea of peace and shaping another reality where the culture of violence has no place.

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My impressions of capacity building training

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Peace: through my eyes

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Հայաստանի Սևազգեստ Կանայք:Իմ պատմությունը

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Speaking about the days spent in wonderful resort of Dilijan, I can say, that I have just enjoyed it. First of all I was interested in the idea of “Women in black” movement: To live in peaceful coutry, create a society, where there won’t be violence and people will live only with humanitarian, democratic principles, law and power won’t abused.

On the first day of discussion was devoted to introducing the members of group to each other, which was realized by a very interesting way  strengthening the team building skills of the group and gave a chance to discover the strength and weaknesses of members, their nature, but also we got many charming smiles. We started the next day with morning yoga. I can say, that I was doing yoga for the first time, it was very interesting for me. I thought, that I can’t do that, but my friends told me that I have done it pretty well. Among yoga poses I liked very much the pose of dancer, because for a moment I returned to my childhood and remembered how I dream to become a ballet dancer. Then in the end we reflected our feelings after yoga by drawing on a paper. I draw a ship in the sea in the reflection of moon, which was symbolizing peace.

After that we began to deeply discuss our knowledge about feminism, gender equality that we have gained at the beginning of the training before. During the discussion I got more deep knowledge about feminism, gender equality. And finally in the end of that day I discovered a feminist in my soul by watching movie. The movie gave a chance to understand, that in any case a human creature must not refuse from his identity, mission, he must choose the way of struggle even at the price of death. The more interesting was team works with balloon that symbolized integrity of group.

Out of training topics, I got great pleasure from the midnight conversations with my friends, crazy times, when at 2:00 a.m. we suddenly want to eat and start to attack the refrigerator. The last day of meeting, when we were packing our things, I was sad, that I would not see some of my friends, but at the same time I was hoping that the days will come back again.

 

Love You All

 

 

Anush Eghiazaryan

Women In Black of Armenia

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