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“Family Corner” Opens in Gyumri

A Family Corner opened in Gyumri will serve as a place where young men and women can learn parenting skills and positive ways to address family challenges through trainings and events aimed at increasing men’s participation in childcare, as well as shifting societal stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles in the family. Family Corners are being established in cooperation with Gyumri Youth Initiatives Centre NGO as part of the “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-based Violence” regional programme, funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by UNFPA and UN Women.

A shot from "Caring for Equality" training conducted in the Family Corner earlier this year.

Representatives of the Government, regional governments of Shirak, Lori and Tavush regions, UNFPA Armenia, UN Women and Gyumri Youth Initiatives Centre (YIC), World Vision Armenia, and beneficiaries of the ‘Family Corner’ project participated in the event.

Participants of the Caring for Equality training conducted in the Family Corner in February-March attended the event.

Artur Martirosyan, Deputy Minister of RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports

Garegin, participants of the Caring for Equality training, with his son

EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin said in her video message: “I am very happy that today we are opening the first Family Corner here in Gyumri. Family life is important for all of us and gives the opportunity really to stay together, to have a better life for our children. Sometimes we need exchange of experience, we need some advice, and it can be that we need a support with our partners or also we have questions with our children. So we want to be very engaged in this together with the colleagues from the UN family. And we are extremely happy that these three centres will open in Armenia, that given an additional chance so that we all have a happy and the good family life, that we look after our kids and that we create a better future together.”

Tsovinar Harutyunyan, Head of UNFPA Armenia Office, emphasized the importance of gender equality and said that although there is a tendency towards more engaged fatherhood Armenia, the reality is far from satisfactory, and there is muc to do: “From one side we should try to support women’s engagement in the economy and labour market, from the other side we need to bring fathers closer to families. In this case  we will have strong and prosperous families, and subsequently - a stronger society,” said Harutyunyan and added that is what the project strives to contribute to.

Tsovinar Harutyunyan

Artur Najaryan, the President of the UNFPA partner Gyumri Youth Initiatives Centre NGO, said, “Our team is hopeful that the Family Corner will be a safe and comfortable space both for individual men and women and for state and non-governmental institutions operating in Gyumri to implement various initiatives and events.”

UN Women’s representative Madelene Sundstroem, RA Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Artur Maritrosyan, Governor of Shirak region Hovhannes Harutyunyan participated in the event and welcomed the opening of the Family Corner.

Madelene Sunderstroem

Hovhannes Harutyunyan, Governor of Shirak Region

Earlier this year, in cooperation with World Vision Armenia and YIC, a “Caring for Equality” training was conducted in the Corner for a group of 18 young women and men from Shirak region, including married couples. The participants of the training improved their parenting skills and knowledge, interactively discussed topics related to gender equality, stereotypes on roles of men and women in family, increasing men’s engagement in childcare, etc.

The facilitators of the "Caring for Equality" training with Gohar, one of the participants

On 17 May, two of these training participants performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and all the participants were awarded certificates. “I can state clearly that we have changed many things in our relationships, in our family, in child-rearing methods,” said Ani Darchoyan, who participated in the training with her husband.

Ani and Gevorg cut the ribbon

Later this year, Family Corners will be opened in Tavush and Lori regions as well. After the term of the project, the Family Corners will be transferred to the communities to operate as community resource centres under local self-government bodies.

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The “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-based Violence” regional three year programme has started in 2020 and is implemented in 6 EAP countries. In Armenia the programme is implemented by UNFPA Armenia in three EU target regions: Shirak, Lori, and Tavush.