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“Minister, Do You Not Differentiate a Girl From a Potato?” (VIDEO)

Representatives of a few organizations dealing with women’s rights issues have demanded an apology from the Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan for equating women to products. Today, they organized a protest in front of the Government building condemning the statement Karapetyan made yesterday, February 25, during a meeting with community leaders and farmers from the Shirak Province. The Minister spoke about the issue of selling potatoes saying that “when a customer comes, you have to give them the product, there is a saying, if someone comes for your daughter, you give her away.”

Today, the protest participants had come to the government building with a few bags of potatoes. They held placards saying “Minister, your children were raised by a potato, too” “Has your daughter heard what you said?”, “Minister, do you not differentiate a girl from a potato?”

Some of the protesters later met with the Minister. After the meeting, Women’s Resource Center NGO co-president Lara Aharonian explained that initially the minister was angry because “we had put a plate of potatoes on his table.”

“He tried to justify himself, saying that he never tried to compare women to potatoes or any other type of vegetable or fruit. He said that he had cited a national saying, in order to make the villagers understand that they could behave the same way. He then said that he was sorry that we were hurt because of the misunderstanding. However, we explained that that wasn’t enough and that the apology should be public and official because we weren't just speaking about us, there are many other people who were hurt from his words. He promised that he would apologize publicly,” noted Aharonian.