Discussion, entitled “Women and Diaspora: From Past to Post-2015” held at the UN

On March 9, the Permanent Missions of Armenia and Cyprus to the United Nations, in partnership with the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), University of the Highlands and Islands, and Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN), held a side event on the margins of UN CSW 59th session to discuss the role of diaspora women.

Permanent Representatives of Armenia and Cyprus, former judge of Civil Court of the City of New York, lecturer of History at University of the Highlands and Islands, CEO of DAWN, expert at UN-Women and representative of Armenian Relief Society delivered speeches at the event at the UN Headquarters. The discussion was chaired by editor of weekly newspaper “Hayrenik”.

Attended by representatives of the member states and civil society, as well as a number of UN agencies, the panel discussion revealed that women of the diaspora are uniquely positioned to use their exposure to and experience of different cultural, social and gender norms to drive transformational development at multiple levels of society. They discussed how Homeland and Diaspora can influence and reinforce each other and build synergies to promote women empowerment and gender equality, enabling women to continue playing a crucial role in preserving culture and traditions in post-2015.

Permanent Representative of Armenia to United Nations Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted that Diaspora has a “consolidating power for a revival of the sense of identity, which promotes minority communities’ integration in host societies, contributing to and benefiting from these societies and strengthening the link with ancestral homeland”, adding that this topic deserves a due attention also in the broader context of women empowerment and the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Armenians of Diaspora in their speeches reflected on the struggle and courage of their families, mothers and forefathers, who survived the Armenian Genocide.

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