While there are no official statistics on the number of Armenian women living on their own, the trend is relatively new. Traditionally, Armenians live with their parents until they marry and, in some cases, even after they marry. A 2016 study of 1200 Armenian youth across the country found that the majority, 72 percent, had lived with their parents in the last year. Only 2.2 percent lived alone.
In addition, the study found that only 15.8 percent of youth want to live alone if the opportunity arises. But slowly, traditions are changing.
Anecdotal evidence shows that an increased number of young women are moving out of their parents houses. But they face serious challenges, both at home and in society, to find a room of their own.
Aida Marukyan, an expert from the Women's Resource Center in Yerevan, agreed that young Armenian women “have changed their attitude toward their lives.”
“The number of women who make their own decisions about their lives is growing. They choose freedom, and by freedom I mean the right to be in charge of their lives. We have a generation of teenage girls who are more confident, who do not accept others making decisions for them,” she says.
Marukyan underscores, however, that these changes are happening in the younger generations, girls who are coming of age now. The cultural shift has not moved to older generations yet.
“The decision to move out and have an independent life means going against generally accepted norms. Often landlords are reluctant to rent apartments to girls who are not students moving from a province to Yerevan after entering a university,” she says.
Poghosyan ran into that challenge, as did Tatev Vardapetyan, 27, a marketing specialist in Yerevan.