Lara Aharonian is a woman human rights defender working to advance women’s rights in Armenia. She is co-founder of the Women’s Resource Center Armenia, a non-governmental feminist organization based in Yerevan that works to empower women and girls to become active citizens by combatting gender stereotypes and providing psychological and legal support to survivors of gender-based violence in Armenia. Lara Aharonian has extensive experience advocating for women’s rights, gender equality and the inclusion of trans, lesbian and bisexual women, in addition to raising awareness on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is also a Board member of Human Rights House (Armenia). After giving a speech in defence of marginalized groups, including LGBT women, at the National Assembly of Armenia in March 2018, Lara came under constant attack from far-right groups and individuals. The new government that came to power following the Velvet Revolution in 2018 does not publicly attacks HRDs, but Lara and others are increasingly targeted by right-wing and nationalist groups, and the government is failing to ensure protection for HRDs.
2020 Europe & Central Asia Regional Award Winner
Lara Aharonian, Armenia