With high levels unemployment, Armenians are especially vulnerable to exploitation from unscrupulous employers. Given a lack of legal protections, employers are free to discriminate against female applicants based on their age or how they look. For some women, the only answer they see is to undergo cosmetic procedures, to make them look younger in the hope of finding a job. [Read more…]
From 13 April, marches, meetings, and other acts of protest took place across Armenia as part of the ‘My Step’ initiative from the Civil Contract Party, and their leader Nikol Pashinyan. Protesters were struggling against the premiership of Armenia’s third President, Serzh Sargsyan. In the weeks of demonstrations, students made up the bulk of the protesters committing acts of civil disobedience, throughout Yerevan and beyond.
Low pay and high unemployment have led many Armenian women to seek work beyond the country’s borders. Despite fears of trafficking, often abusive working conditions, and a closed border with Turkey, the allure of higher salaries have led thousands to leave Armenia, mainly to Russia and even Turkey — a country many consider an ‘enemy land’.
Spousal rape and sexual violence affects many women in Armenia, and cultural taboos and shaming of victims means that women often do not come forward. While changes in the law were supposed to counter this, many activists say the problem of sexual violence remains dire, and the women affected are still left with little protection. [Read more…]
In the streets of Yerevan, children begging for money is not an uncommon sight. While parents can face time in prison for child neglect, many join their children in the streets, finding an income any way they can.
There are hundreds of school-age children in Armenia not attending school. While some work to help support their families, others have fallen victim to attitudes towards gender. In villages where there are only one or two girls — a result of of sky-high sex-selective abortion rates — parents sometimes insist that their girl should not study alone in a classroom full of boys. [Read more…]
The devastating earthquake of 1988 has left a lasting mark on Armenia’s second city. Despite reconstruction projects, Gyumri’s ‘temporary’, dilapidated trailers are still home to thousands. As these families remain unable to break the cycle of poverty — the city centre is receiving an expensive facelift. [Read more…]
With Armenia’s soaring labour migration rates, working-age men have become a rare sight in many villages. Their wives have grown used to seeing them only once a year, if at all, and raising the children alone isn’t only a matter of necessity — it has become a fact of life. [Read more…]
The new law on conscription has left many Armenian students stunned. While stressing their commitment to serving the country, many worry that in practice, it will be hard to obtain Master’s degree after three years of non-deferrable military service.
Lured abroad with promises of love or money, victims of human trafficking from Armenia often find themselves forced into prostitution in Turkey and Dubai. For those who escape, the psychological scars of their ordeals are added to by a lack of acceptance and understanding from family and society back in Armenia. [Read more…]