The power of women in Armenia
Women Build was part of a series of special events across Europe and Central Asia throughout the year.
For five days this June, seven women from different parts of the world gathered in Tavush, Armenia, to build an additional room to the Bojukyans’ family house. Soon, the Bojukyans’ two children will have a decent place to call home.
“Our worksite looks more like a symphony of melodic and harmonic rhythms all working together to create a masterpiece. The unity between women is growing as well as bond with Pari’s family,” wrote Jaime Lazarus in her team’s journal describing the third day of building in Armenia.
The Women Build team consisted of women from Malaysia, Singapore, China, Slovakia and the United States, all of different ages – from 20 to 60. At the work site, women were leveling the foundation for the house, sifting sand, mixing cement, moving and laying bricks while building genuine bonds with the family and each other. Not all men could handle those tasks with ease and joy.
During a facilitated discussion on the role of women on the first day, Parendzam, everyone called her Pari, the mother of the Bojukyan family, proudly stated that “women are at the heart of the Armenian family”. Experience of the next few days confirmed it.
Although it was not typical in Armenia to see women work at the construction, the power of local women stemmed from the way they managed the family and hosted the build. At the same time, the Bojukyan men, who worked alongside the team of seven, gained appreciation for the women’s strength, sense for detail and aesthetics, endurance, focus and friendly attitude.
While the men helped with instructions and construction advice, Pari and her daughter-in-law prepared delicious lunches, shared their love stories, talked about life in Armenia, gave gardening tips and typical Armenian recipes, as well as taught all ladies folk dances during the farewell BBQ dinner.
The international Women Build events, like the one in Armenia, aim at bringing women of different nationalities, backgrounds and faiths together to learn from and empower each other to bring change to the world we live in. Habitat Women Build projects are regularly held across the United States and in more than 30 countries around the world. Women have helped to construct more than 1,800 houses.
Armenia’s Women Build was part of a series of special events that are held across Europe and Central Asia throughout the year. The Easter Build in Romania, the Women Builds in Northern Ireland and Romania, the Building on Faith Build in Armenia, and pan-European corporate builds across the region are a few other examples.
What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Europe and Central Asia in a number of ways:
• Visit our Euro donations page to support projects in Armenia.
• Visit our U.S. Dollar donations page to support projects in Armenia
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this country.