Jemma Hasratyan’s engagement in peace building activities was triggered by the Karabakh conflict. Aware of the need for armed hostilities to stop, she became active in women’s dialogue and in a women’s association that was one of the first women’s NGOs established after Armenia gained independence. Within this framework, Jemma persevered in carrying out a dialogue with Azeri women. This took place during the most difficult years of military hostility, when all and any dialogue-oriented efforts seemed to be unrealistic and even dangerous.
Jemma Hasratyan is the head of the Armenian Association of Women with University Education. Her vision of a peaceful future is based on the ideology of a culture of peace and a dialogue between the civilizations that is realized through peace building projects, publications, research initiatives, and numerous interactions within a peoples’ diplomacy framework. At this stage of the conflict in the Nagorno Karabakh region, the consolidation efforts of women’s NGOs are directed toward the avoidance of war, dispelling an atmosphere of hostilities, and strengthening peace in the region. Jemma belongs to a category of people, who do not avoid difficult and complicated responsibilities. She has an unflagging optimism, self-confidence, and firmness of purpose. This firmness is a source of her optimism and the motor that gives her energy at the most difficult and trying moments, when many others are losing heart and the responsibilities are enormous. Her ability to attract and engage people is recognized by everybody who has a chance to communicate and work with her. Moreover, she never pursues her own goals but all her goals are directly related to the problems of her people and the people for whom she feels responsible so that they may live in a stable society, in peace, having a firm perspective for their future. That is why she does her best to achieve goals and targets that are oriented exclusively to the welfare of her people and the peoples of the region in which she lives.
Armenian Association of Women with University Education Armenian National Committee of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)