According to a young Diaspora artist who is making films on gender issues shared her opinion on why people do not look for real definitions in this age of information and rely on emotional statements. The education in Armenia has been based on memorization for many decades. Nobody cared for critical thinking. Another civil society representative shared her experience in the past for not having knowledge and being not curious enough about gender, even when she was engaged in a human right NGO. And now I have a number of literature on the topic.
Confusion, anger, disappointment and fear: those were the emotions that people underlined in focus groups towards the concept of gender. In fact, in almost all the focus group discussions, there was a hidden topic behind the words of the discussants, which was the homosexuality and all what is related to the change of sex.
On the other hand, at the same time there were always attempts to gently tackle the connection between homosexuality and gender, though, more in the form of questions:. It is not just the number of women who should be represented in the parliament. It has apparently a wider meaning and that is why people are afraid of this term! Because, they think that according to the gender concept, you cannot force the child in gender selection.
People are afraid of this and as you say, these conservative nationalist movements are rising because of that fear. Or for example, now there are a lot of surgeries to change the sex. This is also gender, no? Still in the beginning of the fieldwork, when trying to organise focus group discussions, one of the striking statements received from the civil society organizations was:. I think everybody has the same opinion about gender Interestingly, especially in the focus group discussions with NGOs both in Yerevan and Ijevan there would be a feeling of double standards: on one hand, some discussants would underline how important is to have the knowledge on gender, how important to transfer it to the next generation and how important is to put this knowledge into a legal framework to transfer gender equality into practice, which is regulated by the law.
This kind of situated knowledge was found especially in focus group discussions NGOs, elderly people, young parents, students, non-student groups. People would eloquently and quite convincingly accommodate their changing positions. This was more evident in FGDs with student groups, who would engage in active discussions and a lot of time contradicting themselves by arguing first for gender equality and then arguing for more traditional roles of women and men. Because, women are born to provide well to the children. Men are born to provide well to their women.
This knowledge has been acquired through different marz-related development programs led by local and international civil society organizations. Some of the respondents among them predominantly NGOs , stated that for the first time they acquired about gender in seminar and educational events.
Asking about knowledge transfer done in mass media or civil society events to the public, the respondents of the key informant interviews argued that in fact the knowledge transfer should be challenged and put under question: what kind of knowledge is transferred? Who is transferring the knowledge? What are the factors that the gender knowledge is not transferred properly? According to an artist working in the field, one of such reasons is the lack of wish among many NGOs, as well as state structures, to transfer knowledge, which would empower women and men for more gender equality.
According to an international organization representative, responsible for gender program coordination:. This argument has been also complemented by a number of other respondents. Many of the interviewees dealing with NGO sector and gender topic, ascertained that there is a phenomenon in Armenia: NGOs stick only to the issues of their primary affiliation and are not interested in other questions.
In most cases, the gender was defined as an abstract concept having no personal context. In the focus group with the non-student youth in Ijevan, the discussants were asked a question weather they had heard of any gender issue in their neighbourhoods, if they could share any [personal] story related to gender equality from their family with the group, etc.
UC Santa Barbara
The group, which consisted of predominantly women and few men, kept a long silence. The lady who arranged the focus group discussions in Ijevan, decided to interrupt the silence and interfered by encouraging the youth not to think from personal perspective, not to speak about personal stories or stories of their families, but rather think in more abstract way. Thus, gender is always impersonal, it is hardly connected with the real experiences of those who is talking about gender.
The personal stories remain in the past, while having no reflection in present day.
Discourse and Gender
While the author was trying to understand if there is a gender discourse in Armenia and what is understood and known by gender during the focus group discussions and key informant interviews, another question came into the light in the end: why is there no gender discourse in this country? Different interviewees and discussants presented a number of diverse perspectives on why there is no gender discourse. Some of the most frequent arguments are presented as follows:. The public perception and knowledge are based on contradictory understandings of gender concepts.
The knowledge among public comes mainly from media and public discussions, which produce and reproduce taken-for-granted knowledge.
The knowledge of gender consists of different meanings, which never form a discourse as there is no shared knowledge, no shared space and no shared will. Moreover, each of them consists of many civil society groups, which have different positioning in the society and different messages transmitted to the society.
Leaning on all above mentioned lack of knowledge and mixed perceptions of gender concepts one may conclude that in fact there are abstract and impersonal narratives, which do not come together and make up one joint discourse. There are a lot of factors, which impede the gender category to construct acceptable systems of meanings, which would lay down the foundation of a healthy gender discourse.
Unless those factors are eliminated by different actors in the field, the public hysteria and its different manipulations will not be replaced by constructive dialogue and will not contribute to the public knowledge on what is gender all about. The Criminal Code of Mkhitar Gosh prohibited violence against women and imposes criminal penalties on any one committing violence against women. The Code of Shahapivan gave a woman the right to the family property in the event that her husband left her without reasons.
Instructor: Dr Brian King. Mondays, - , CPD The course includes an historical view while bringing in cutting edge research, in this way highlighting emerging trends while keeping persistent themes in view. There will be 12 Thursday sessions, a combination of lecture and discussion group and whole-class in which students will investigate, discuss, and debate various issues of gender, sexuality, language, and discourse; the Monday hour will be used for tutorials.
Attendance is required at all sessions and participation will be graded. Drawing on a discursive notion of gender laid out by Raewyn Connell, the aim of the article is to elucidate how the involvement of relatives is guided by an extra- individual rationale about gender and caregiving, and how this gendered discourse might frame different challenges and burdens, depending on the gender of the diagnosed person and the cohabitant relative.
Positioning gender in discourse: a feminist research methodology
Drawn from a larger, multisited field study on involvement processes in Danish psychiatry, the article is based on field notes and 21 interviews with seven heterosexual couples. We do follow and use the Danish Copyright legislation. Hosted by the Royal Danish Library. Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer.
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