"Few realize that there are customs outside of Armenia, that the attitudes adopted in Armenia are backward. Adults, just being Soviet-minded, do not want to fight against stereotypes or change anything," says Narine.
The Ombudsman’s Office has noted the impact of these stereotypes on women’s access to the labor market. For instance, deeply held views on “suitable” jobs for women have resulted in women being discriminated against in certain professions. It also means women get paid 35.9 percent less than their male counterparts across all sectors in the economy.
Part of the problem is how society views women’s roles. For example, in small towns and rural communities, it is widely believed that men should work while women should care for children and do housework, according to the Yerevan State University’s Center for Gender Studies and Leadership’s "Gender Barometer of Armenia".
Narine,Tina and Ani are trying to counter these stereotypes through the metal jewelry studio, Protest Business. They say they have been told that women should work with beads, not weld metal. But that has not stopped them.