LOS ANGELES — It was a star-studded program, as well as a festive gathering, on Saturday, December 4, 2021 when approximately 100 guests celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Support Center. This event was hosted by benefactors Zarig and Jack Youredjian at their home in Toluca Lake.
The guests consisted mainly of activists, Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) members, community leaders as well as Women’s Support Center supporters.
This event raised more than $100,000.
Antranig Kasbarian, trustee of the Tufenkian Foundation, served as master of ceremonies, representing the Tufenkian Foundation and, together with AIWA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were the founders and driving forces behind the creation of the Women’s Support Center. Kasbarian stressed the positive role played by then-US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who displayed strong support and appreciation for Armenia, its people, and the domestic problems they were confronting.
Early on, along with Joan Agajanian Quinn, she encouraged USAID to develop a partnership with AIWA and the Tufenkian Foundation, focusing on women’s rights and particularly on the problem of domestic violence. At the beginning of the program, Armenian society was still in denial about domestic violence, relegating it as a family matter or ignoring it entirely. Ten years later, among its various accomplishments, the Women’s Support Center can proudly state that this issue has been brought irreversibly into public consciousness and today there exists a grudging but growing acceptance both by public officials and civil society.
Nicole Nishanian, president of the LA Affiliate of AIWA, also welcomed the guests and emphasized AIWA’s pride in being associated with this program which has brought progressive change to Armenia regarding women.