French MP to open AIWA conference in Yerevan

French MP to open AIWA conference in Yerevan

PanARMENIAN.Net - Preparations for the seventh International Conference of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA), which will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, October 9 to 12, are rapidly moving forward, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator reports.

Valerie Boyer, Deputy in the French National Assembly, who has spearheaded legislation to make denial of the Armenian Genocide recognized as a criminal offense, heads the list of distinguished speakers who will participate in the Conference under the general theme “Armenian Women in Action: Building Communities Across the Globe.”

In recognition of next year’s centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the first full day of the conference will explore new perspectives on the roles of Armenian women during the Genocide, as well as the lingering effects that followed. Italian-Armenian scholar and writer Antonia Arslan, author of Skylark Farm, the best-selling novel about the Genocide (which has been made into a movie) is one of several speakers on this topic. The day will end with a visit to Tsitsernakaberd to place a wreath at the Genocide Monument and tour the Genocide Museum with its Director, Hayk Demoyan.

The second day will focus on Armenian Women in policy-making, entrepreneurial, social and health issues. Among the presenters scheduled for that day are Canadian-Armenian actress Arsinée Khanjian, noted for her roles in such movies as “Exotica,” “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Ararat,” and Vahan Zanoyan, author of the highly acclaimed novel about trafficking, A Place Far Away. Several non-governmental organizations have been invited to provide models for what can be accomplished in a panel on NGOs in action in Armenia.

Other speakers on the first day include Fethiye Çetin from Istanbul, author of the groundbreaking book, My Grandmother, which has opened a discussion in Turkey about Islamized women survivors of the Armenian Genocide whose origins have been hidden. Çetin, who is the lawyer for the Dink Foundation, has been in the news recently for her criticism of the Turkish government’s role in the investigation of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink.

AIWA’s international conferences are designed to examine the evolving status of Armenian women and develop strategies for the future in the fields of government, the economy, business and finance, health, education, communication, culture, and the arts.

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