The keynote speakers included filmmaker Adrineh Gregorian, ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan, anthropologist Dr. Emilia Nersisian, Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan and psychologist Mihrdat Madatyan.
Bavakan highlights the issue of selective abortions in Armenia, their reasons and prevalence.
Beneath the surface of Armenian society lies an untraditional reality, one where a woman’s right to choose ends in a quest to present a male heir to the family.
Bavakan explores this issue through the stories of four women and the pressures they have faced to have gender selection abortions.
“This issue was brought to my attention in 2007, when I was worried that abortion rating in Armenia is really high. And it was in 2009 when we were alarmed by the gender selection abortions numbers. And it became more than just women’s issue, more than an abortion film, it was focusing on issue that concerns everyone in Armenia”, Adrineh Grigoryan said.
Hranoush Kharatyan noted that the whole world society is based on men values: “Women’s life is not only subordinate, but subject to violence. Mostly men are owners of property and land, girls would never go to the court to demand their part of the land from their parents”.
Gayane Avagyan stated that the ministry is preparing legal amendments: “We consider providing parents information about child’s gender not earlier than at 25-30 weeks of pregnancy, when it would be impossible to terminate”.
Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan mentioned that a baptized man should follow the Bible rules which prohibit abortion. “Equality is in the basis of Christianity, it’s another issue that societies started interpreting it differently”, he said.
Emilia Nersisian is sure that the issue can be solved if the family property is equally divided between daughters and sons.
“I’m convinced that abortion is a form of murder. The child has its psychology from the very first day of its existence”, Mihrdat Madatyan stated. “Two people get married and they cannot give birth to another two people, it’s disturbing”, he added