Women of Artsakh

-Dreaming Independence and Peace-

 Nagorno Karabakh

On the night of April 2, 2016, Azere forces attacked all along the contact line the border with Nagorno Karabakh, reopening in fact a conflict that had never officially closed. It was since 25 years there was an escalation of such violence. Karabakh, after the 1991 referendum declared himself independent from Azerbaijan claiming the Armenian identity of the totality of its inhabitants sparking a war that has gone on for four years and left behind thousands of dead. After the ceasefire this country slowly began to organize themselves living, however, in fear of reliving the ghosts of the past and a new conflict. This fear was reflected in the 5 days following the April 2 in which 85 people from the Armenian side were killed (including four civilians) and about 300 were injured. Azerbaijani victims were higher. Whole villages have been evacuated to the bombing and displaced families arranged in hotels in the capital Stepanakert. Today, the hostilities are continuing although officially all is denied and deaths are recorded almost every day in both sides armies. In this period, a country already strongly united, nationalist and strongly militarized especially in terms of quantity of military per capita, it is even more tightly connected around its soldiers. Many volunteers left for the front among whose ranks many enrolled come specially Armenia. Practically every woman in the country, even the most disinterested previously in military and political issues, was actively involved in the events supporting on the web its soldiers and taking part in every kind of event or initiative. In fact every woman Karabakh or Artsakh, as it is called the country in the local language, have in the family a brother, a father, a son who is a professional military or who joined the army in last days. Many have the whole family in the army. They live waiting for their return with anxiety but, at the same time, it is thanks to their contribution that life in the country is able to move forward. In many, in fact, they hold important positions within the government and make decisions crucial to the future of this part of the world does not recognize from foreign countries hidden in the mountains of the Caucasus. ​

From the simple family mother to the minister of culture and youth affairs, from the common employee in a beauty salon to cop to the head of the supreme court of justice, women are the soul of Karabakh, the strength of this country, in some ministries they account for 80% of employed personnel. They dream of independence made of peace to build a different future for their children. They love intensely, fight tenaciously, often suffer in silence, and believe in their traditions. They are brave and fragile. This is their story.

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