Home / Video / “No to Patriarchy,” “Repoliticize March 8”: March in Yerevan In Honor of International Women’s Day (PHOTO, VIDEO)

“No to Patriarchy,” “Repoliticize March 8”: March in Yerevan In Honor of International Women’s Day (PHOTO, VIDEO)

“Bro, what’s feminism?” asked a 25-year-old man his friends on Abovyan street upon seeing dozens of citizens marching in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8. The young man, who had read one of the marchers' shirt writing “Feminism is Cool,” received no answer from his friends and stood silently for a few minutes while the loud marchers passed him by.


The main objective of the organizers of the march was spelled out on a large poster reading “Women’s Rights Day,” and not to motherhood or beauty, as March 8th is often perceived in Armenia.


The march moving through downtown Yerevan received various responses from people – shock, enthusiasm, ridicule – but there was nearly no indifference. Many passersby took out their phones to record the march, some giggled, others, taking some of the fliers handed out by the marchers, discussed whether the writing was “true.”


The march participants passed Aboyan St. and stood at the Republic Square, then moved toward Northern Avenue, where the march ended in a concert.

During the march, the participants chanted:
No to Violence,
No to Borders,
No to Patriarchy,
No to Masters.

At times the word ‘violence’ would be exchanged with ‘government.’

Some participants passed out fliers which read; 

“Sister, congratulations on March 8, 
Which was decided by women in the 19th century to be the day to signify the struggle for women’s freedom, 
And not as a holiday for “beauty and femininity.”
You walk with your head uncovered, but your eyes downcast.
You study at university, but your diploma is for dowry. 
You dress yourself in layers at home, while on the street you take off your clothes on billboards to “advertise” [originally, a play on words for the Armenian word for ‘advertisement’, which translates into ‘influence by praise.’] You have the right to vote but you vote according to a man’s wishes.

You have the right to love, but your family decides who, how, and when to love. 

You want a lot, but the haters ‘like,’ ‘want,’ ‘get,’ and ‘take you.’ Your haters are those who consider themselves your master. 

You won the right not to be a reproductive incubator, but the church still anathemizes you when you have an abortion.
You have the right to speak, but you’re not the decision maker in keeping your female fetus.
The state obliges you to become a mother and your child has a patronymic name. 
You know best who you are and what you want.
Continue yourself…
Repoliticize March 8th!”