The Foremothers of Armenian Feminists

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Melissa Bilal, an ethnomusicologist and assistant professor at the American University of Armenia spoke to EVN Report about Armenian feminists from the 19th and 20th centuries in the Ottoman Empire. Bilal is an author, co-author and editor of a number of books and publications on Armenian feminist writers. Together with Professor Lerna Ekmekcioglu of MIT, Bilal launched the Annual Feminist Armenian Studies Workshop and founded the Feminist Armenian Research Collective (FemArc).

What we talked about: 


- Importance of learning about and discovering the Armenian feminists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

- The need to inscribe the names of Armenian feminists in the global history of feminism.

- The relevance of the ideas of Armenian feminists in the past and today.

- Armenian women still struggling with labels: “If you are a feminist, you cannot be a good mother.”

- The empowerment of Armenian women in recent years. 

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