Caring for Equality
Grant project name: Caring for Equality
Funded by: World Vision USA
Time frame: 4 years (2015 – 2019)
Prenatal sex selection as one of the most blatant forms of gender-based violence is a considerable issue in Armenia. An estimated 1,400 girls are not born annually in the country due to the traditional and deeply entrenched preference for baby boys and the higher status that males traditionally enjoy in the Armenian society.
According to report of the Prevalence and Reasons of Sex Selective Abortions in Armenia, since 1993 the ratio of boys and girls born in Armenia have grown to 110-120 boys to 100 girls, while the biologically normal ratio is 102-106 to 100. Armenians are 6 times as likely to prefer baby boys as girls – a circumstance that accounts for at least one of ten abortions out of a preference for male children.
“Caring for Equality” project seeks to change attitudes and prevent behavior that is harmful to women and girls. It seeks an environment where girls and boys are born and valued equally.
The project is implemented in Armenia at national and community levels.
National Level: Promotion of policies combatting gender-based violence and prenatal sex selection
-enabling legal and institutional environment for promotion of policies, which will best serve the needs of vulnerable women, girls and their families in communities.
-mapping and facilitation of cooperation of local and regional formal and informal structures mandated to address women’s, children and family issues.
-facilitating the creation of the unified Church vision/strategy on gender equality and prenatal sex selection.
Community and Family Level: Transformed families promoting change in gender social norms
-facilitating active participation of families in transforming harmful social norms.
-engaging teenagers, youth, community active groups and faith leaders in gender equality promotion activities and fostering equitable and non-abusive environment in families, schools and community in general.
The project capitalizes on the role of community-based social workers especially in early identification and prevention of gender-based violence cases and prenatal sex-selection issues at household level.
"Caring for Equality" project is implemented in marzes of Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Tavush, Shirak and Kanaker-Zeytun district of Yerevan where World Vision Armenia has already long term development programs and teams.
By the end of the Project about 1000 parents, 1000 youth, 1500 service providers are to be involved in projects roll-outs. AS of September 2017 half of target beneficiaries have been enrolled in community meetings and trainings.
According to findings of survey measuring intermediate results of community groups for 2016-2017 there has been a change of 12.3% in discriminatory gender attitudes among couples and 8.8% for youth. There has been a change of 8.2% in son-preference attitudes in couples and 5.9% among youth. There was a positive change of 15% in inequitable gender relationships at home among couples participating in C4E roll-outs.
The project closely collaborates with the Armenian Apostolic church to have a stronger social engagement related to gender equality through Church’s social instance on national level and involvement on faith-leaders in cases particularly related to gender-based violence on local level.
World Vision partners with the Government of Armenia, regional and local authorities, international and local organizations, Armenian Church, education and health establishments, local and regional women and child protection bodies and networks to effectively implement its projects.