Issues Related to the Rights of and Opportunities for Yezidi Girls Residing in Armenia

Yezidis are the largest national minority in Armenia, and are considered a closed community. As a distinct ethnoreligious group, Yezidis in Armenia preserve their national identity and faith. However, the situation of the rights of Yezidi girls and women in Armenia is of concern. This study attempts to present the top priority needs of Yezidi girls in Armenia, the extent to which Yezidi girls are vulnerable to early marriages, and their role in decision-making processes regarding their own lives, which may form the basis for further discussions and solutions.

As the desk and field study results show, Yezidi girls and women are vulnerable to deprivation, particularly of their educational, social and cultural rights. As a result of the Yezidis’ specific social structure, the socio-economic situation in the regions of Armenia and lack of security, early marriages are extensively practiced. Although Armenia has obligations to protect the rights of national minorities and eliminate harmful practices, Yezidi girls do not fully enjoy their rights, not only because of cultural and social issues, but also because of the omissions of the legal system.