On May 20 2013, the parliament of Armenia adopted a law on Equal Rights of Men and Women and on Ensuring Equal Opportunities. The adoption of the law sparked a heated debate in Armenia around the concepts of “gender” and “gender equality,” and resulted in the dissemination of misinformation across Armenian media by groups opposed to the law. Women’s rights and other gender-focused organisations working in Armenia were the targets of much of this misinformation, which misrepresented the values and activities of these organisations, and had to face security threats and fear of attack as a result.
Society Without Violence, an Armenia-based NGO that works on issues related to violence against women, used their Web We Want Rapid Response rant to disseminate accurate and trusted information about gender and the work of women’s rights organisations across the open Web. The aim of this small and urgent project was to counteract the huge wave of misinformation that was being spread around Armenia by sharing unbiased information across the country, using social media and the Web. The organisation produced and released four videos to show the false nature of the information being disseminated by extremist groups about the gender equality law. Society Without Violence also created a blog to reveal the truth about these extremist groups, and worked to raise awareness among the Armenian public about these issues by purchasing advertising space from Facebook to increase the rapid spread of true information across the country. Through these actions, Society Without Violence worked to change the prevailing attitudes of the country’s citizens towards gender-related issues, the gender equality law, and women’s rights organisations.
Contact: Anna Nikoghosyan email@example.com