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  • Writer's pictureInternational Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

Women's History Month - The Strength of Their Stories

This Women's History Month the Zoryan Institute shared the stories of four women who have either experienced genocide and mass violence or work adjacent to these experiences. Each of these women demonstrate incredible resilience and strength, often re-living their own trauma, to raise awareness, educate and prevent future atrocities.

We began with the story of Aurora Mardiganian. Aurora was only 14 when she lost everything during the Armenian Genocide. She managed to escape to the United States in 1917 at age 16, and soon became the face of the biggest humanitarian campaign of that era to help Armenian orphans, raising more than 30 million dollars for the cause.

Aurora's story is a universal story of humanity and sacrifice. It is the story of a brave woman who refused to be a victim and used her voice to be a fighter for human rights and justice.

Since Aurora, many incredible women around the world have followed in her footsteps. Throughout the month we have had the pleasure of introducing you to some of these women and we encourage you to watch the below videos to hear even more!

Aurora Mardiganian

Aurora was an Actress, Writer, Social Activist, Humanitarian, and Survivor of the Armenian Genocide

Consolee Nishimwe

Consolee is a motivational Speaker, Author, Women's Rights Advocate, and Survivor of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. For more on Consolee: @consoleenishimwe

Chanrithy Him

Chanrithy is an author, International Speaker, Khmer Classical Dancer, Social Activist and Survivor of the Cambodian Genocide. For more on Chanrithy: @chanrithyhim

Olivia Wells

Olivia is a human rights advocate who highlights the importance of survivor stories as Director of Programs and Communications at Nadia's Initiative (founded by Yazidi activist and Genocide Survivor, Nadia Murad). For more about Nadia's Initiative: @nadiasinitiative

The Zoryan Institute is working with Yerevan based production company, Bars Media, to tell the true story of Aurora Mardiganian through animation. This film was made possible by the academic contribution of the Zoryan Institute and is based on its Armenian Genocide Oral History archive (as seen in her clip above).

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