Supporting Working Mothers in ArmeniaPublished: Oct 1, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
Armine Ghazaryan moved to Spitak, Armenia, when she got married, and today she lives with her son, husband, and mother-in-law in the suburbs. Armine’s husband used to work in Russia, but now he is back and has no job. Farming is the family’s only source of income. Complicating things, Armine’s son, 7, was born with autism and is unable to speak. While Armine receives support from the entire family, she bears the bulk of the childcare responsibilities, making it difficult to find a job and make money.
A project funded by the European Union’s Covid-19 Solidarity Programme is working to change that.
Together with a local organization, Armenian Mothers, People in Need (PIN) is providing support to women like Armine, helping them gain skills to enter the job market. For instance, the project helps mothers of children with disabilities learn how to style hair or give manicures, services that can be done from home. This type of training enhances women’s financial independence and strengthens their self-esteem.
Thanks to this project, Armine became a hair stylist. After four months of hairdressing classes and three months of social media marketing lessons, Armine is growing her client base and earning money for her family. In the coming months, Armine plans to begin offering her services from a salon she is setting up in her house, a setup that will make it easier to juggle work with childcare responsibilities.
“Currently I work mostly for relatives, and from time to time I also travel to Vanadzor city to do haircuts there,” Armine says. “Right now my income is small, but I believe that soon I will have more chances to earn money.”
Armenian Mothers is a civil society organization supported by PIN within the EU-funded Covid-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership. The aim of the project is to mitigate the adverse effects of Covid-19 and to contribute to the longer-term, socioeconomic resilience of vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe. The project, which includes interventions in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, is implemented by PIN, in partnership with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and AFEW International.