The Armenian Association of Toronto Youth (AAT Youth) hosted a talk on Feb. 25, highlighting some of the critical issues women in Armenia face. The event titled “‘Combatting gender inequality in Armenia” was held in the assembly hall of the Armenian Catholic Church of Toronto and featured Maro Matosian, the founder and executive director of Armenia’s Women’s Support Center.
The talk, accompanied by visual aid, engaged the audience for an hour, followed by an opportunity for open discussions. Matosian began by drawing on her first impressions of Armenia in the early 1990s. She then touched on how traditional gender roles have been embedded in Armenian society through schools, media, and available career options.
The interactive presentation detailed the Women’s Support Centre’s role in Armenia, including past and current success stories of empowering women. Last year, the Centre provided shelter to 203 women and children and responded to more than 8,000 hotline calls.
Matosian noted that while Armenia passed a domestic violence law in 2017, the Centre and other groups are working on ensuring the criminalization of domestic violence in the country. During her talk, Matosian also stressed the importance of not labeling uncomfortable topics “taboo” and supporting those willing to stand up for their rights. The audience questions were insightful and created the basis for a deeper conversation around the topic.
AAT Youth, the youth division of the Armenian Association of Toronto, celebrates and preserves Armenian culture, heritage, and language while providing financial support to Armenia and Artsakh through various youth initiatives. The Armenian Association of Toronto has been active in the Armenian Community of Toronto since 1996.