Women Against Authoritarianism: Agency and Political Protest in Armenia

  • Ulrike ZiemerEmail author


In spring 2018, street protests aimed at changing the government of Serzh Sargsyan swept across Armenia. While women and men participated in near equal numbers, for women it was the first time since 2008 that they had entered political spaces previously reserved for men, acting as leading figures of the protest movement, but also strategists, organizers and rank and file protesters. This chapter explores three facets of women’s agency during the protests. First, while some leaders played the ‘female card’ by using gendered ‘instruments of protest’ or by highlighting existing gender inequalities in their speeches, others purposely underplayed gender differences in order to remove the ‘male’ connotations associated with public speaking. Second, some women used their respectability as mothers to challenge the government and, third, some women used their bodies as sites of resistance during the protests. By exploring women’s activism, this chapter adds new insights to the growing literature on women’s agency during political protests in the post-socialist space.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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