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From Prejudice to Equality. Study of societal attitudes towards LGBTI people in Armenia

Январь 10, 2018

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The current desk research was aimed at analysing the impact of social, cultural, political and other macro-social factors that influence the overall homo-transphobic environment of Armenian society. The report can be used for the elaboration of recommendations and specific strategies for overcoming homophobia in Armenia.

More than 30 reports and publications, including different policy, program, strategy and project documents were analysed to summarise prevalent social prejudices, stereotypes, stances and actions towards LGBTI people, as well as to identify their features and origins. In addition, several experts reviewed the report and provided recommendations, validating its content and structure.

A short summary of the report’s key findings is presented below.

There are numerous studies indicating that the acceptance of homosexuality highly depends on the socio-economic and religious situation of a country (Pew Research Centre, 2013); therefore, it is important to depict the situation in Armenia in terms of these three spheres of society and life. After independence, Armenia undertook wide ranging and comprehensive institutional, economic and social reforms towards sustainable human development. Over the last decade, two major events have had a strong effect on the economic and socio-political life of Armenia: a significant decrease in the country’s two digit GDP growth due to the 2008 global economic crisis and the country’s decision to abandon the planned Association Agreement with the EU in favour of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

DE FACTO/ACTUAL SITUATION OF LGBTI PERSONS IN THE COUNTRY

The fact that LGBTI persons in Armenia continue to face intimidation, threats, harassment, physical and psychological abuse in different spheres of life, including the family, healthcare, law enforcement, armed forces and closed institutions, has already been stated in different reports and publications. In order to depict the real situation of LGBTI people in the country and understand the underlying factors determining deeply negative perceptions and discriminatory practices, this report presents a detailed description of the four main components of those perceptions—knowledge, attitudes, stances and actions towards LGBTI people. It is important to discuss all these components, because some authors propose using the “change of social behaviour” model to mitigate the deeply negative attitudes, perceptions and discriminatory practices towards LGBTI persons that are present (Socioscope & PINK Armenia, 2012). The model is comprised of the four components mentioned above, in which each component is formed and comes into existence based on its predecessor.

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