“Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities NGO was founded in 2007 in the city of Gyumri by Karine Grigoryan. Karine Grigoryan’s thinking completely changed when she participated in the Leadership training for women with disabilities in the USA in 2006: she has become more resolute, self-reliant and full of initiative. As a young girl with a disability, Karine realized that there was a need to found an organization in Armenia that would empower girls and women with disabilities and develop their leadership skills and abilities. She had a goal to have a group of active and proficient girls with disabilities in Armenia, who, joining their efforts, would be able to effectively advocate for their rights.
“Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities NGO promotes the civic, social-economic, educational, healthcare and cultural rights enforcement of young girls and women with disabilities in the Republic of Armenia through advocacy, information dissemination, raising awareness and collaboration.
Over the past 10 years, the organization has implemented more than 50 local, national and international programs that have contributed to the rights implementation of girls and women with disabilities and had a positive impact on more than 2,000 beneficiaries (people with disabilities, their family members, state and local representatives, representatives of disabled peoples organizations (DPOs) and human rights CSOs, media representatives, orphanages, universities, colleges, vocational centers, schools, healthcare institutions and other service providing organizations and individuals).
The members of “Agate” NGO are young girls and women with disabilities aged 16-40 from Shirak region.
“Agate” NGO provides psychological and legal consultations, օrganizes various trainings and discussions on capacity building, skills development, competence enhancement and legal awareness raising.
The organization also has computer, English language, Armenian sign language, literacy, handicraft, makrame, beading, cooking, pastry making, table decoration, theatrical art, decoupage, swimming, yoga, hairdressing, make-up and other workshops.
One of the most important advocacy tools of the organization are research and publications: guide books, information book lets, manuals, books, dictionaries, posters, calendars, CDs and DVDs, audio books, movies, social advertisements, and etc.
“Agate” NGO is the first organization in Armenia to translate and publish the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the “Healthbook for Women with Disabilities”. The organization also made and published the first Armenian Sign Language, as well as Armenian-American Sign Language electronic dictionaries.
One of the most important initiatives of the organization is the construction and building of the first inclusive playground in the region.
The organization actively participates in the development and presentation of shadow reports of human rights conventions and other documents on international platforms.
“Agate” NGO organizes various events, advocay actions and campaigns.
“Agate” NGO is a member of the following local, national and international networks and coalitions
The Union of Legal Entities “National Disability Advocacy
Coalition” Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition (NDEC)
Coalition to Stop Violence against Women
Network of disability organizations in Gyumri
The president of “Agate” NGO is a member of:
Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights
International Network of Women with Disabilities