Doubling Impact and Empowering the Future Female Leaders in Armenia
During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Armenian International Women’s Association San Francisco affiliate (AIWA-SF) funded an academic scholarships for two students attending the American University of Armenia (AUA). One of the scholar recipients, Anahit Petrosyan, is in her second year of study in the field of law, and is expected to graduate with a master’s degree (L.L.M.) in May, 2017. Not only has she had the opportunity to study at a western-style educational institution of higher learning in Armenia, but she was also selected to serve as an intern at the Women Support Center (WSC) in Yerevan. In this position, Anahit is working closely with the WSC team on a policy paper that examines the legal restrictions and effects of domestic violence on children. “Anahit is very bright and engaged with the issues we face,” says Ani Jilozian, WSC Research Specialist. “We have assigned her to conduct a comprehensive research project focused on conducting a comparative study looking at Georgia and Armenia laws on domestic violence. This information will be very useful, as Armenia will soon pass legislation on domestic violence, and it’s an opportunity for us to provide concrete and realistic recommendations based on the Georgian context, which has much similarity to Armenia.’’
Anahit is very grateful that AIWA-SF not only alleviated her financial burden through their gift of scholarship, but also provided her with this internship opportunity. “Thanks to AIWA-SF not only do I not have to worry about paying for my education, I am placed in an environment where I am surrounded by professional women from whom I learn something new every time I go to the Center,” says Anahit. “During my studies I gained deep knowledge about the foreign affairs, democratization and legal system of the Republic of Armenia. I thought that the democracy starts from the free elections, fair legal system and prosperous economy. At WSC I came to realize that democracy starts from our own families. As I conducted research and read the materials provided by WSC, I am quite saddened by the darkness of our reality today on domestic violence issues at home. I know that with hard work and perseverance, we will generate positive results, and I am honored to be a direct participant in the effort of making our society a better place to live in and prosper.”
AIWA-SF is very pleased to establish this three-way partnership with AUA and WSC. We feel strongly that this exchange not only helps to educate and engage bright students from the AUA on women’s issues in Armenia, but also gives them the opportunity to give back to their communities.