On January 30, 2011 we will be organizing a march to raise awareness about violence against women. We will gather at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School (1615 N. Alexandria Ave. Los Angeles) at 1:30pm. We will listen to a few speakers, sign petitions and march around Little Armenia carrying signs and reading testimonials.
We do not expect this short, two mile march in Hollywood to immediately transform the unfortunate neglect for women’s rights among our people, nor do we expect it to trigger a feminist movement overnight. Regardless, we will march. We will march to honor and remember 20-year old Zaruhi Petrosyan, whose name has been eternally engraved in our hearts. We will march in solidarity with courageous activists in Armenia who are dedicated to making positive change within the country. We will march to demand that the Government of Armenia take immediate action to prevent and punish violence against women. We will march so that victims of domestic violence, locally and abroad, know that there is hope.
Our request with this march, and with all other efforts that will follow, is nothing too difficult to grant. As women, we will not be compartmentalized to “traditional” roles that were not defined by us, nor will we be held to lower standards. We will reject the flowers given to us on March 8, reject the idealization of our femininity, reject our tokenization, and reject any pedestals you might place us upon. To be recognized as merely human is enough. To be respected as equal peoples and given the opportunity to live our daily lives without the constant fear of abuse is truly enough. We will not accept, nor believe others should accept violence as a normal or natural part of male behavior.
Women, you are inherently valuable to this world, and your liberation is a necessity to your existence as human beings. However, the only people who care enough about you to work over and over again for your wellbeing, are you yourselves. So please, don’t compromise your worth by accepting an ill fate because it is all you have known. If you are convinced that change will never come, let me remind you, women throughout history, in almost every part of the world have had to fight for equality, it has never been recognized as such an intrinsic idea.
So we ask you, abusive ones, resentful ones, fearful ones, and silent ones, take this march as something more than a single occurrence on a Sunday afternoon. Let it represent a step towards understanding a hidden but very real problem that will only worsen with silence and denial. Let it represent a set of beliefs for healthier and more fulfilling lives, not only for women but for everyone.
United Human Rights Council
The United Human Rights Council (UHRC) is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. By means of action on a grassroots level, the UHRC works toward exposing and correcting human rights violations of governments worldwide, and aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between peoples who share this common vision.