Women’s Rights Kitchen

Grant recipient: Improve Our Village

Project: To help protect and empower Yazidi women victims by developing culinary skills and a greater awareness of their rights

The project “Women’s Rights Kitchen” was funded by The Bearr Trust. Violence against women comes in many forms. Early marriages of girls are one form of violence. This phenomenon is very common among Yezidi people living in Armenia.

In some cases Yezidis forbid their teenage daughters to even receive general education. After the 9th grade, girls get ready for marriage. The project was very successful, as mothers and young girls from many families, participating in the program, learned about their rights, the dangers of early marriages, and received counselling from a psychologist and sociologist. There have been many reactions from the beneficiaries and the Ministry of Education of Armenia about the project. The latter, on the basis of our recommendations, is preparing a legislative draft for reforms in this field. We, the project implementers, receive many letters and e-mails especially from Yezidi girls participating in the program, one of whom we would like to share with you.

 Harmina Ozmanyan is 14 years old

 I was very happy to participate in this program. It gave me wings. I now study very well at school. I want to become a geologist. My mother had told me that when I was 15 years old I should get married. I ought to forget about studying in high school, achieving a higher education. My mum also participated in this training. I’m so glad that my mum realised that she made the wrong decision. I am also grateful to the project manager for visiting our home with my mother, talking to my dad, and cancelling my marriage. I will finish school, I have rights, I will achieve my goals. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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