Young women in Armenia

Armenia was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as it's official religion. Most of the people are still very proud of that.

The Law on Freedom of Conscience establishes the separation of church and state but grants the Armenian Church official status as the national church.

Women in Armenia have been officially guaranteed gender equality since the establishment of the Republic of Armenia in 1991. This has enabled women to actively participate in all spheres of Armenian life. They have attained prominence in entertainment, politics and other fields.

Often their entry in the public sphere is only valued if they reflect the image of the feminin ideal, based on social expectations.

This continues to put a barrier on the political, social and economic accessibility for women.

Divorcing a husband - even an abusive one - is seen as a social disgrace. These women are considered to be shamed.

Young women stay with their families until they get married.

They plan careers of their own and value to be well educated.

Sex selective abortion is reported as being a problem in the country due to patriarchal social norms which consider having a son preferable to having a daughter.

Nevertheless, due to strong emigration of young Armenian men who go abroad in search of work, there are more young women than men in the country. Especially among those in their 20s: women make up 55.8% of the population aged 15–29.

Combining a job and a household is very hard to do. A lot of young married couples live with their extended families.

Armenian women have the potential. They are well educated and they are resilient. They deserve to leave their mark on the nation's future and they must fight for it.

View from the Matenadaran, a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan
Created By
Irene Van Nispen Kress
Photography: Irene van Nispen-Kress Thanks to: Tamara Khlghatyan, Lusine Avagyan, Lilit Azaryan, Suzie Khojamiryan

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