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Poster contest "Dads Matter," which aimed to draw attention to responsible parenting and gender equality in Armenia, announced the winners. Web-designer Anna Khachatryan and 4th-year university student Zhanna Aleksanyan won the competition with their poster marking fathers' role in the family. 

Gyumri Youth Initiatives Centre NGO and UNFPA Armenia Country office organized the competition as part of the "EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-based Violence" regional programme, funded by the European Union, implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA. The poster contest received 12 works.

 "While creating the poster, I first asked myself: what role does the father play in the family? When I found the answer, I presented it on the poster. The father, through his experience, discloses the world and life to his child," says 26-years old Anna, who took first place in the competition. Her poster promotes responsible fatherhood via billboards in Gyumri and Vanadzor (soon also in Ijevan).

Anna is sure that young people in Armenia know that men should be responsible parents and share childcare and household responsibilities with their spouses or partners. However, harmful stereotypes and perceptions about women's and men's roles persist in society. Thence the contest aimed at spreading ideas of gender equality as "Dads Matter" is important.

"I noticed a lot that in Armenia, people mainly talk about the role of the mother in the family. When I saw the announcement, I thought that, finally, the father's role is also emphasized," she said.


 21 years-old Zhanna, who took second place in the competition, said that she wanted to show how she feels about the fathers' involvement in the family.

"It is essential to present the need for the involvement of fathers and men in the family. When fathers and mothers have the same involvement in the family, the child becomes complete," Zhanna says. She added that her mother and father were always driven by the principle of equality in their care.

"When my father found out that my poster had won, he was delighted and proud. My dad is a karate coach. I have always been very motivated by his success. It all inspired me to be better. My father and I have always been close. I have always asked him for advice and felt his support. My work reflected all this. It is the image of a father, of that superman that encourages the children, gives them the strength to strive for the better," says Zhanna.

"Dads Matter" poster contest is one of the parts of the "EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-based Violence" regional programme. In the frame of the programme, "Family Corner" resource centers were opened in Gyumri (2020) and Vanadzor (2021). "Family Corner" in Ijevan will be opened in 2022.

Beneficiaries of the resource centers are men and women, fathers and mothers aged 18-40 from Shirak, Lori, and Tavush regions/marzes.


The "EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-based Violence" regional three-year programme has started in 2020 and is implemented in 6 Eastern Partnership countries. In Armenia, the programme is implemented by UNFPA Armenia in three EU target regions: Shirak, Lori, and Tavush.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and in the framework of the "EU 4 Gender Equality: Together against gender stereotypes and gender-based violence" programme, implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA. Its content is the sole responsibility of UNFPA and UN Women and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


Mari Mkhitaryan/ UNFPA Armenia

Photos by author