AIWA to Present Workshop at UN on the Status of Women


Armenian women in the village of Shatvan, Gegharkunik Province

NEW YORK — The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will hold its 56th session this year on the theme “The Empowerment of Rural Women and Their Role in Poverty and Hunger Eradication: Development and Current Challenges.”

The Armenian International Women’s Association will participate in the meeting by sponsoring a workshop on the opening day of the session, Monday, February 27,  beginning at 6:15 p.m. CSW sessions attract hundreds of women annually to New York from all parts of the world.

The AIWA workshop will focus on issues relating to the position of rural women in Armenia, enhanced by perspectives gained from programs developed in other nations.

Illustrated presentations by two professionals experienced in working with rural women will evaluate various strategies used to address the empowerment of women.

The first presenter, Sara Anjargolian, is a photographer and attorney in Los Angeles who has documented the lives of the Zulu people in South Africa, the plight of the extreme poor in Armenia, and the status of refugees living along the border with Azerbaijan in Armenia’s rural areas. She will speak about the power of images to inform and inspire social change and about her personal transformation while spending time with these groups of people.

Anjargolian will also address the benefits of partnering documentary photographers and media professionals with aid organizations, focusing specifically on how narrative imagery can empower the individuals depicted and help contextualize their unique challenges and triumphs.

The second presenter, Ana Cristina Schirinian, divides her time between Buenos  Aires, Argentina, and Yerevan, Armenia (and often places in between). An attorney by profession, she is special assistant to Eduardo Eurnekian, head of Corporación América,  an Argentine holding company active in a number of diverse industries, including airport construction and management.

As president of Tierras de Armenia, an agricultural project in Armavir province that specializes in offering the latest technology for growing fruit, and as executive director of Fruitful Armenia, Shirinian is familiar with the life of rural women in Armenia. She will compare her observations regarding agricultural conditions in Armenia with her experiences stemming from similar programs in Argentina, Morocco and Italy.

The workshop will take place in the Drew Room on the first floor of the Church Center across the street from the United Nations building in New York from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. It is open to the public free of charge.

AIWA has participated in the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization for over a decade and is affiliated with the Economic and Social Council as well as the Department of Public Information. AIWA’s Main UN Representative, Mary V. Toumayan, heads a delegation including Joan Agajanian Quinn, Hasmig Torossian, Joy Renjilian-Burgy, Barbara Merguerian and Lily Ring Balian.

Further information about AIWA’s workshop at the United Nations is available from the AIWA office, 65 Main St., Watertown, MA 02472 or its website,  aiwainternational.org.