By Taleen Babayan
LOS ANGELES — Women’s empowerment took center stage at a benefit for the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s “Yes, Armenian Women Can!” campaign on Sunday, August 12, at the home of Alice and Ronald Altoon, in Encino.
The integral role of women in society and the workplace was highlighted during the panel, consisting of academics Dr. Mary Papazian, Dr. Ann Karagozian, Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian and Lilia Mamikonyan (CS ’19). Throughout the afternoon, the importance of scholarships was underscored to facilitate the education of women in Armenia who have the brainpower and work ethic to contribute greatly to the country.
Emphasizing a significant turning point in Armenia’s history during the successful Velvet Revolution, Papazian, president of San Jose State University, said the time was ripe for women to take a more active role in the country.
“We are in a transitional moment that is incredibly profound and we can either grasp it or let it slip away,” said Papazian. “We need Armenia to survive and thrive and recognize that this investment in the success of women is an investment in the country’s future.”
She highlighted the importance of building up women not only in the capital city, but throughout the rural regions of Armenia, citing the potential of economic growth in the provinces. “It takes a whole population to succeed and we have the chance to create a partnership that enriches all of us,” she said.