Armenian Women

in search of Herstory

Archive for the category “Women’s Rights”

Seza (1903-1973)

Writer, Journalist, Women’s Rights

Her real name was Siran Zarifian and she was born in Constantinople.  There she attended the American College for girls until early 1920s when she left for Beirut, Lebanon.  She pursued her studies at Columbia University and obtained an M.A. in Journalism and Literature. She returned to Beirut after completing her studies and launched her well-known periodical, Yeridasart Hayuhin – Young Armenian Woman –  (1932-34 / 1946-1968)

“Yeridasart Hayuhi made an especially important contribution as a proponent of women’s rights, education and empowerment” – Zeitlian (2000)

You can find her books and copies of the journal at the Derian Library/Haykazyan University in Lebanon.

You can read online some of her short stories here.


Hayganush Mark (1883-1966)


feminist Writer, Editor, Journalist

She was born in Constantinople in 1883 and attended the Yesayan school. She worked as a teacher. In 1907 she married the publisher Vahan Toshigian and was in charge of editing the women’s page in the her husband’s periodical, Arshaluys. She edited a women’s periodical, Dzaghig, from 1905-1907  and founded her own feminist periodical, Hay Gin (Armenian women)  in 1919. In her articles she often raised the women’s rights issues in Constantinople and the Armenian community and cooperated with other female writers to raise awareness on the situation of women living in rural areas.

“Hayganoush Mark was a prominent Armenian feminist journalist who managed to uninterruptedly continue a woman’s journal, Hay Gin, from 1919 to 1933 in Bolis/Istanbul” –Lerna Ekmecioglu

She also published later in her life in 1954, an autobiographical book on her work and a reprint of some of the most important articles in Hay Gin.

Arshakuhi Teodik – Արշակուհի Թեոդիկ (1875-1922)


Public figure, pedagogue and translator, Arshakuhi Teodik (born Chezvechian) was very active in the social and literary life of Constantinople’s Armenian community where she was born. She studied in London and Paris and contributed to different collective works, among them Lusinian’s French-Armenian illustrated Dictionary. Together with her husband, she was known for funding and publishing the Armenian Almanac.

Her surroundings described her as a very dedicated woman and a true social activist; from creating the league of women in Constantinople to helping the victims of the massacres of 1909, and organizing schools and orphanages, she never spared a moment of her life to engage in the social and political activism of her time.

With very scarce resources, she found a way to visit Armenian political prisoners after the massacres in Adana and gather important testimonies and evidences of torture she witnessed there in a documentary book entitled “A month in Cilicia”(1910).

Sources: Anahit Harutyunyan, Yereveli Tiknants Tar, 2005

Photo: Wikipedia

Diana Abgar – Դիանա Աբգար (1859-1937)

diana abgar

Diana Abgar was born in Rangoon, Burma of Armenian parents from Persia (Iran) and grew up in India. Her real name is Anahit Aghabek (Aghabekyan). In 1889 she married a Hong Kong merchant Mickael Abgar and moved to Japan where she started her literature career. After the death of her husband in 1906, she went to Yokohama with her children. In 1919 she was appointed consul general of the Republic of Armenia in Japan and became the first female ambassador in the east to occupy a diplomatic position. Abgar wrote books, editorials and appeals for her country in several languages and during the Armenian genocide, she helped a number of Armenian refugees, who through Siberia and Japan were moving to the USA. In Vladivostok about 500 Armenians were gathered, most of them moved to the USA with Diana Abgar’s help.


Diana Der-Hovanessian, The Other Voice, 2005


On the occasion of the International Day of Women, the Women’s Resource Center is launching this blog as part of the one month campaign in Armenia. The initiative is entitled “30 Women, 30 Days” and a team of dedicated women will post and share information on the forgotten faces of Armenian women in history.  Each day, starting on march 8th, we will post the photo and a short info on an outstanding woman who played an important role in the Armenian society, culture, politics, science and all other fields.

Join us in celebrating the power of women in Armenia and around the world!

Share, discuss, talk, voice, shout,  post, empower!

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