“Society without Violence” NGO’s next stop was in city Vardenis in Gegharqunik region, where we were having two-days civic forumsin frames of Women in Black movement on April 17, 18. The main aim of these forums is to raise the awareness among young girls and women in regions on peace, types of conflicts, conflict resolution ways and the role of women in the above-mentioned processes.
The structure of the forum implies both giving theoretical knowledge and using this knowledge in practical part of the forums by means of role plays, group working and by planning a public action in one or two weeks following the forums. This kind of structure gives the participants an opportunity to meet each other also after the training is over and to discuss the upcoming joint public action, use the practical skills gained and be a part of Women in Black international movement.
he rainy and cold weather in Vardenis couldn’t challenge a group of young girls from Vardenis and villages around come and join the trainings in Vardenis State College. As a trainer I am highly inspired by the enthusiasm of young girls of Vardenis and their ability to accept the new. They were eagerly taking part in all group works and promoting the affectivity of the trainings with their frankness and openness.
But I have to mention also the stereotypical thinking of the young girls on women’s traditional role in the society and the values they have. Some of the participants found it difficult to continue the sentence “being a woman helps me to…”, as they think being a woman doesn’t help them at all. One of the participants even mentioned that being a woman helps them “to be more obedient and shy”.
I think that such trainings will be helpful for young girls to re-estimate the role of women in the society and to break the existing stereotypes.
Sharing my experiences and expectations about Vardenis I can’t but mention one funny story. When I was trying to find out where I could have dinner in the city, I noticed people looking strangely at me. Later on I learnt what the reason was for that: “it was a shame” for a girl to dine out in a restaurant in Vardenis.