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“Victorious women, harmonic society” fest

The Society Without Violence NGO introduced and declared July 27 as gender equality day in Armenia. For those who are interested in what this day entails and what exactly motivated SWV to declare this torrid summer day to promote gender equality, we have an interesting story to tell. The date was not decided because it was the day when the total lunar eclipse occurred or because Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest on that day in 1890.

So, why July 27? You can find various interesting and even weird days that people celebrate around the world. For instance, the Southern Hemisphere celebrates “Put on Your Own Shoes Day” and the United States celebrates “Bean Day” in January. One can find any kind of day to celebrate but the Gender Equality... Since 2001, SWV has been fighting for a society, which is free from stereotypes, gender-based violence and discrimination. Hence, the SWV team took a serious responsibility in declaring July 27 as a day to promote social, economic and political equality for both women and men. Every year, the SWV team enthusiastically waits for this day with plenty of new and creative ideas. The preparation process, though very tedious and troublesome, is usually inspiring and also fun. Nevertheless, it is the result of our hard work and dedication that makes it possible to bring the July 27 event to life every year.

This year we celebrated the Gender Equality day in the heart of Armenia-in the center of the city of Yerevan. The event this year was titled “Victorious women, harmonic society” fest. We decided to bring something new to our celebration. After we introduced the message of the day to our volunteers and initiated an interesting project and filmed a video where they explained the concept of gender and gender equality.  However, we did not stop there and organized “I am visible” art competition. Talented artists from all over the country took part in the competition. Artists submitted unique and interesting pieces of art work, which expressed the vital role women in public life. Two winners were chosen (one selected by the SWV team, the other was based on social media voting).  However, we did not limit ourselves just to the competition and video.  The designs were so beautiful, that we printed some of them on notebooks, bags, t-shirts, postcards and put them on sale. The proceeds generated from the sale are to be used for other activities directed towards female empowerment in Armenia.  Since there are many noteworthy initiatives and projects to fund in Armenia, we let those who bought the designs select where funding should go. Customers were given cards, where they could select which project, in their opinion, is worthier to fund. 

To raise awareness, a concert was organized, and several singers and bands performed. They all strongly supported the idea of having a gender equality day.  Some of them expressed their support and sent messages to their audience during their performance. 

Finally, the day we were looking forward arrived. Because this event was shedding light onto such an important cause, we did our best before and during the event. SWV can proudly say that the day served its purpose.  People came to the mentioned location to buy items with beautiful designs, which expressed the idea of women’s visibility in society and made their small contribution.  Some of them took booklets, which explained gender concept and gender equality.  It was so inspiring to see that many enthusiastic people show interest in our event.  Others decided to join the performers on the spot.  A volunteer from the audience, a Georgian tourist, expressed his willingness to sing during the concert.

To conclude, SWV is proud to organize such a day.  It is essential to raise awareness about gender issues because only knowledge can fight and win.  We will go on with organizing such days, as we have done in the last eight years. 

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