Combating Gender-Based Violence in Armenia

2008 - 2010

The priorities of preventing gender based violence (GBV) and promoting equal opportunities yet to be mainstreamed and incorporated into the policies of the Republic of Armenia. Therefore, it is crucial to shape adequate demand both among the general public and capacities of the decision makers and public service providers on this matter.

Since September 2008 ICHD leads a Consortium of civil society organizations striving to develop an environment conducive for the elimination of gender-based violence in Armenia and to implement the country’s commitments in this area. The ICHD’s partners in Consortium have been Association of Women with University Education (AWUE), Tatev-95 Psychological Support and Counseling Center (Tatev-95), and Scientific Association of Medical Students of Armenia (SAMSA). The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Armenia funded the initiative of the Consortium partners on combating gender-based violence in Armenia since 2008. The country office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in Armenia have supported Consortium in engaging the refugees and refugee victims of GBV.

Within the framework of this project the Consortium partners have achieved several important results. Firstly, the partners have shaped substantial capacity of delivering training on gender and GBV issues in Armenia through creating and supporting a pool of 78 skilled trainers, as well as developing innovative tools for effective training on gender and GBV. The trainers represent public institutions, local self-governance bodies and NGOs active in this area, as well as media and educational institutions. Among them there are professional educators, teachers, local leaders, journalists and students. The ICHD’s guidebook for trainers on comprehensive training in gender and GBV issues provided practical basis to trainers to structure a hands-on training program for even most difficult audiences including the police, health professionals, journalists, etc.

Further, the ICHD and its partners have raised awareness of over 2,000 young people countrywide, women and men, refugees, high school and university students, policy makers, educators, local leaders and service providers, on the issues gender equality and means of preventing and eliminating GBV. Thirdly, the Consortium partners have improved knowledge and skills on gender and development, local and international instruments for fight against GBV, promoting gender equality, communication, negotiation and accountability, of about 500 policy makers, representatives of national and local authorities responsible for the issues of gender and development and combating GBV, as well as police officers, migration service officials, public health professionals and medical doctors, NGOs, etc. The Consortium partners have increased the sensitivity of 15 journalists and media representatives on issues of GBV with the purpose of further promoting national awareness of the issue and ways to end GBV. Fourthly, the ICHD and its partners have improved knowledge of 170 women and adolescents - potential and real victims of GBV, on violence and its impact on the mental health, as well as developed their skills for dealing with violence. Finally, the Consortium partners have provided treatment to 55 victims of GBV and improved their mental health conditions.

The mutually complimenting capacities of the consortium partners were the primary key to success in this action. Thus, the ICHD, provided the overall coordination of the effort, engaged the government institutions and policy makers, led the preparation of the modules and provided its unique expertise in the area policy making. ICHD’s experience in the area of migration management and its well established working relations with the State Migration Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration of RA have been instrumental in organizing training under the integrated extension component targeting stakeholders active on refugee issues. The AWUE’s decade long experience in the area of gender and capacity in delivering gender training was another asset to the Consortium. The capacity of the “Tatev-95” in providing treatment to the victims of GBV has ensured that the needs of the potential and actual victims of GBV will be addressed. Though it was not an easy task to mobilize a great variety of national and local institutions in GBV training, the consistency and working relations with the leaders in the country helped ICHD to overcome many challenges. Another challenge that consortium partners have addressed was the amending, localizing and adaptation of the genuine training guidebook (with variety of modules) prepared by the Consortium partners in 2008 to the needs of various target groups including refugees, the police, journalists, public health professionals, etc. Developing cases on gender and GBV impact on various policies was instrumental in this process.

ICHD has forged a network of professionals in the area of Gender based violence including policy-makers, civil servants, experts and civil society at large. Technical expertise of organizations active in this area in Armenia has been mobilized through the Project. A large number of local NGOs, education and healthcare institutions, law enforcement bodies, media outlets countrywide have been direct beneficiaries of the Project. At the same time ICHD and Consortium partners enjoyed the support of many local organizations in pushing the project forward: “Astghik” Association of families with disabled children, Armenian Association for family and health, Centre for youth activities in Artashat, The School of Leadership, Yerevan State University, Yerevan State University of Economy, State Agriculture Academy, Yerevan State Engineering  University and their regional branches, Yerevan State Medical University, Haybusak Institute, Syunik Institute, Goris State University, Vanadzor State Institute of Pedagogy,  Gyumri State Institute of Pedagogy Yervan Northern University, Yerevan State University of Languages, Yeghegnadzor state college, Vayk college, Goris Club of Teachers, Goris Centre of English Language, a number of high schools in Kapan, Vayk, Vanadzor, Gyumri, and Yerevan, Armenian Electrical Nets company, design enterprises, municipalities of Goris, Vayk and Kapan, Armenian Apostolic Church and many other organizations.  The partnership with local NGOs active on refugee issues has been very much helpful in selecting and mobilizing refugees to participate in the training courses. The offices of the regional governors (marzpetarans in three regions) have been very much cooperative and helpful in targeting and mobilizing the leadership of local communities and LSGs with refugee population in Kotayk and Ararat, Armavir regions. The Yerevan Municipality, particularly, its Department of Public Health has been very much cooperative and helpful in mobilizing the public health practitioners in Yerevan. The Police of the Republic of Armenia, has provided assistance in mobilizing the participation of the police officers and provided guidance in targeting the specific needs of this audience. Experts from the Office of the Prosecutor General of the RA and the Ministry of Health of the RA have been engaged to deliver training of the police officers and health professionals in the specific sessions covering practical aspects of preventing and combating GBV, identifying and working with the victims of violence. The ICHD project has linked with gender and GBV related networks and drawn on the technical expertise of other international organizations including UNFPA, UNDP and UNIFEM during project implementation.


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