The speakers included Jenya Mayilyan, Founder President of “Women's Empowerment Center” NGO, and Anna Abgaryan, Founder and Project Coordinator of “Women's Empowerment Center” NGO.
The speakers focused on the probability of HIV Infection among Women Exposed to Violence and presented real stories from Armenia.
Jenya Mayilyan mentions that “Eurasian Women's Network on AIDS (EWNA)” was founded in 2013. 11 countries joined the network including Armenia. Since 2015, the network has joined 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
According to Jenya Mayilyan, this year’s focus is has been the stories of women living with HIV. 3 stories of women with HIV have been chosen from each member state. The stories have been posted on different social networks and web sites since October 25. The stories feature those women, who have HIV Infection and are exposed to any type of violence.
“Within 16 days, we are trying to collect the statistics on cases of artificial interruptions of pregnancy, usage of contraceptives and cases of HIV-infected women's pregnancy with excretory fertilization. Events are arranged to promote the potential of women. HIV-infected women in 11 states are involved and informed about violence types and their rights,” Mayilyan mentioned.
According to her, campaign was implemented on online platform. Special attention has been paid to young girls who are vulnerable to violence and HIV.
Anna Abgaryan highlights 3 cases of physical and psychological violence towards HIV-infected women and remarks the consequences.
According to her, HIV makes women twice as much vulnerable, and besides taking the medicine on time, it is necessary to protect the children and earn money for living.
In Abgaryan's opinion, the problem is systematic.
“If there is right prevention against violence in society and there is no discrimination and hostility towards HIV-infected people, women will speak up about the violence they are exposed to and will get the support they need,” Abgaryan mentioned.
In Jenya Mayilyan’s opinion, HIV-infected women do not apply to shelters in case of violence, because they are afraid to be rejected for their HIV status.
“So, it is necessary to pay attention to this group of society when discussing or revising the Law “On Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of People Exposed to Domestic Violence”,” Mayilyan said.
According to her, in other countries the picture is almost the same, and the main problem is that the woman does not know to whom she should apply, she is afraid she will be discriminated and will not receive help if she asks for.
“Indeed, this campaign will serve its purpose. If one is informed, she is already protected somewhat. When a person knows his rights, he tries to protect them, but when he does not know, he faces another reality,” Mayilyan said.
To watch the video, follow the link.
Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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