Region: Armenia

Women in media report: Serbia and Kosovo

Cover image women in media report

PCi’s Western Balkans project “Amplifying local voices for equitable development” – ALVED, hosted a series of Media Consultation Dialogues which brought together media professionals from Serbia and Kosovo to discuss and reflect on challenges and opportunities to improve the media scene, reduce divisive narratives, and increase cooperation between journalists and media across the ethnic divide. The Dialogues included topics such as the work of media regulatory bodies; the importance of local media; independent media sustainability; what are the roots and causes of divisive narratives and why is there a lack of empathy for “the other”.

One of the Media Consultation Dialogues focused on “Women in the Newsroom” and looked at the positioning of women in media and the level of (in)equality with their male colleagues and the ways this affects the way that women are represented in the media. A comprehensive questionnaire was sent out to close to a thousand media professionals in both Kosovo and Serbia and PCi is proud to present the results of this study together with a set of recommendations on how these worrying findings can be addressed.

In 2023 it is utterly unacceptable to find out that one in three women working in Serbian media and one in four in Kosovar media have been victims of sexual harassment. Or that around close to 30% of women working in Kosovar and Serbian media have been discriminated due to their age or appearance. The fact that seven out of ten women are considering changing jobs and professions is certainly not a result of a satisfactory status of women in Kosovar and Serbian media.

The comprehensive Report Survey can be accessed below:

Serbia report in Serbian language

Serbia report in Albanian language

Serbia report in English language

Kosovo report in Albanian language

Kosovo report in Serbian language

Kosovo report in English language

Youth Participation in Decision-Making and Peacebuilding in Armenia

Armenia today represents a vivid example both of new opportunities and challenges that the youth are facing. This is partly evidenced by the fact that 88% of young men and women (18-29 years of age) view the 2018 change of government in Armenia positively. At the same time, issues including unemployment, poverty, housing as well as other challenges in the socio-economic sphere carry their own particular impacts on youth resulting in a large number of young people leaving the country, either for permanent emigration or seasonal guest worker jobs. This report synthesises findings and analysis of research into the participation of youth in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia in the context of the political changes since April 2018.

The Report (produced in Yerevan 2019,) has been produced as part of “Progressing Youth Participation in Armenia on Governance and Peace” project.

To click on the report in English, click here

To click on the report in Armenian, click here

Promoting Youth, Peace, and Security in south Serbia

Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) convened civil society organisations and activists from south Serbia in Belgrade to introduce them to UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS), and design approaches of relevance to young people from their own local communities.

The participants included representatives of BeYond from Bujanovac, Be Active and Livrit from Preševo, and Naš Svet, Naša Pravila from Vranje, plus activists from each municipality. PCi has been working with these organisations to establish a network in south Serbia that can further the specific interests of young people. This includes with respect to the seven-point plan for the integration of the Albanian community, which contains several dimensions of relevance to young people, including economic recovery; education, culture, and media; and security and confidence-building measures.

Workshop day one in Belgrade

The workshop began with reflections on engaging with young people in various communities in Serbia, including sentiments amongst young people and the extent to which their work is understood at the local level. This was followed by an introduction to the YPS agenda, focusing on its five key pillars – participation, protection, prevention, partnerships, and disengagement and reintegration.

The second day laid out a series of practical tools for peacebuilding, such as how to undertake a conflict mapping process and conduct a Positions Interests Needs analysis. This was followed by a discussion on how to advocate for peacebuilding and the YPS agenda, employing messages and terminology that resonate with young people not typically exposed to such discussions.

Workshop day two in Belgrade

The workshop concluded with the design of tangible peacebuilding approaches, tailored to the specific challenges facing young people in south Serbia. This predominantly revolved around the Seven Point Plan pertaining to the integration of the Albanian community, and advocacy to promote a stronger role for young people in the articulation and realisation of solutions.

PCi’s work in the YPS domain builds upon valuable experiences garnered in Armenia, in conjunction with an Armenian NGO, the Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan (YCCD), testing approaches to promoting youth participation in decision-making and peacebuilding, underpinned by UNSCR 2250 calls to include youth in local, national, and international institutions.

The participants will deliver similar YPS-focused trainings within their own communities, thereby strengthening the capacity of young people to actively participate at the local level to raise awareness about specific challenges facing youth and to develop solutions to a range of problems. These young people will also be linked to regional and international structures dealing with YPS, thereby allowing them to exchange best pratices.

During their time in Belgrade, the participants also met with representatives from the Serbian Government’s Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, where they had the opportunity to provide perspectives on the needs and concerns of young people in south Serbia. With the Coordination Body recently appointing new leadership, this was a timely opportunity to present the first hand perspectives of youth.

Armenia: Training manual to promote action plans for youth engagement in governance

A training manual was produced as a component of the project ‘Progressing Youth Participation in Armenia on Governance and Peace’, which supports UNSCR 2250 on youth, peace and security. The manual has four modules which support users in:

  • increasing understanding of peace and peacebuilding together with the basics of conflict transformation
  • developing communication skills in support of non-violent dialogue
  • communicating approaches and tools related to decision making in line with UNSCR 2250 leading to the development of action plans for youth engagement in governance

Download the training manual in Armenian here

Youth participation in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia

PCi worked with YCCD (an Armenian NGO) to promote youth participation in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia, supporting UN Security Resolution 2250 calling on governments to include youth participation in local, national and international institutions, in efforts to end conflict. A short film was produced to capture the project’s impact (available in Armenian with English subtitles).

Call for cessation of military action on the territory of Armenia

Azerbaijan’s military action against settlements on Armenia’s sovereign territory violates international law and cannot be justified by any of Azerbaijan’s declared statements on provocations, the mining of Azerbaijani’s territory, or ongoing frustrations at the pace of implementation of the 2020 ceasefire agreement. We appeal for an immediate cessation of military action for the protection of civilians and a return to ongoing dialogue formats.

PCi’s peacebuilders and our partners have long-standing relations with civic and political actors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan and have a profound respect for those who have been committed to a peaceful transformation around the parameters of the conflict between the two countries. We have deep empathy with the people of Azerbaijan who experienced considerable suffering and acknowledge outstanding grievances from previous wars between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We are convinced, however, that a military or force-based resolution to the present situation can only cause harm to the neighbourly relations without which a lasting peace is impossible.

We call on civil society and independent actors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to act in line with principles that look ahead to peaceful relations between the two countries by withholding from rhetoric that supports or justifies military action, by not posting information that has not been verified, and by using ties that have been built over years of working for peace to in the region to verify facts, understand perspectives, and provide moral support to one another.

Armenia: Youth Research Report

PCi has produced a research report focusing on the participation of youth in decision making and peacebuilding in Armenia in the context of the political changes since April 2018. The research was conducted in the framework of the project “Progressing youth participation in Armenian on governance and peace”, which is implemented by Peaceful Change initiative and Youth Cooperation Centre of Dilijan and is funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. 

Download the report here

Armenia: Youth as advocates for peacebuilding

Peaceful Change initiative worked with an Armenian NGO, Youth Cooperation Centre of Dilijan (YCCD), to promote youth participation in decision making related to peace and governance issues. This supports UNSCR 2250, which urges governments to include youth participation in local, national, and international institutions, in efforts to end conflict.

15 young activists from Yerevan, Tavush, Shirak, Lori, Kotayk and Ararat regions participated in the six-day training held in Dilijan in August 2019. They were equipped with the skills to become ‘trainers’ and take their skills back into their communities, to work with other young people to engage them in peace and governance issues.

The training was structured around a Training Manual that had been developed with support from PCi. It sought to improve understanding, among the youth, of peace and peacebuilding in Armenia, and explained the basics of conflict transformation.

Arman, a 28-yearold civil society activist, said: “It was useful to know that peace is not just a general term and that it can be used in both a positive and negative way.” It also sought to develop communication skills that support non-violent dialogue and outlined approaches and tools that support the development of action plans for youth engagement in governance in Armenia.

Following the training, Marika, a 26-year-old teacher, said: “Now I am ready to go back to school and to work with the new materials, the Training Manual will be very helpful!”

Download the training manual in Armenian here

Armenia: Progressing youth participation on governance and peace

In April 2019, PCi commenced work on a 12-month project funded by the UK Government and within the framework of UNSCR 2250 on youth, peace and security. The first component involves research into youth involvement in the violence-free revolution that led to a change in government in 2018. Workshops will then be convened for Armenian civil society organisations focusing on peacebuilding to discuss the research findings and develop recommendations, and it is envisaged that organisations will work collaboratively to advocate for the recommendations. The project aims to have the recommendations included in the government’s official Youth Policy. The second component will develop educational materials to build young people’s awareness of peace and security issues in Armenia and increase knowledge of peacebuilding activities. Materials will be piloted among youth directly affected by conflict in the province of Tavush in the north east of Armenia.

Armenia: PCi and YCCD host roundtable event on youth policy

Peaceful Change initiative and the Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan (YCCD) hosted a roundtable event on Youth Policy issues in Armenia (October 2019) in Yerevan. This is a component of the project ‘Progressing Youth Participation in Armenia on Governance and Peace’. Participants included officials from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MESCS) responsible for the development of Youth Policy in Armenia, representatives from civil society and youth organisations, active youth workers, and young men and women interested in the issue. The discussions were focused on topics which produced suggested recommendations and messages. PCi and YCCD will work with civil society and government to raise awareness of these recommendations/messages, to promote inclusive and participatory processes in the development of Youth Policy in Armenia.