Broken equality between unborn gender

#GenderBiasedSexSelection /GBSS/ #GenderEquality

In the framework of the UNESCO Participation Programme, the “Sustain Development Initiative” NGO conducted “Training of Trainers: Promoting the Role of Women and the Reduction of Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” project, which started on December 11, 2019 on reproductive behaviour in the Armenian reality, its causes and related factors, as well as gender-biased sex selection and discriminatory attitude.

Two 4-day training courses were organized, and the second round was implemented from 14-18 of December. The participants of this phase were young people interested in the topic, educational institutions and non-governmental sector.

The trainings started with discussions on the issues of women’s active participation in local self-government, which was led by expert Gevorg Yeghiazaryan. Participants were familiarized with sectoral issues, highlighting key stereotypes and barriers that make women more passive in community governance.

Through the group works, participants presented community issues and possible solutions that can be addressed by them as community residents.

The other stages of the project were already about the reproductive health of women, the causes of adverse behaviour affecting them and the offending agents, which was led by expert, trainer Ani Tovmasyan. She has been involved in fetal abortion research programs since 2016 and has held numerous meetings and discussions with women.

The information gathered from these meetings on the issues, causes, and consequences were all summarized in her theoretical materials. Discussions on the topic have already become a source of new information.

During a discussion of abortions, one of the participants noted: “Recently I was listening to my grandmother’s talk to her friend who were discussing the mental state of a miscarried woman. I am amazed that they could talk about it so quietly without emotions, as if it was an ordinary phenomenon. For our grandparents’ generation, the subject is so common, which we can’t say about our generation. We are more emotional, we are more connected with our newly formed baby, and losing him/her causes great suffering’’.

Discussions were held on women’s rights and legal awareness, the causes and roots of gender-biased sex-selection. The participants noticed that however acceptable is the desire to have a son, as critical is the way they choose to achieve their own or the family’s dream.

Many women have so keen desire to have a baby boy even from the first pregnancy, that being aware on it they are even ready to give up the first fruit, which is extremely dangerous for a woman’s reproductive health. There are many cases in which young girls who first aborted their fetus later acquire infertility. For the next days of the training the topic on gender discrimination was again the key.  Through various films and videos, the theme was presented in different ways, revealing the problem in a comprehensive way.

The aim of “Training of Trainers: Promoting the Role of Women and the Reduction of Gender-Biased Sex Selection in Armenia” project was to increase the awareness level on the negative consequences of gender-biased sex selection among interested young people who will try to raise awareness of the issue in their communities using the gained skills and knowledge. To carry out this activity the expert taught tools and methods for conducting information campaigns. The participants were provided with publication materials, like manuals and posters.

In the frames of the project there were trained 50 young people from all the regions in Armenia.