Karine Grigoryan

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Inclusion Through ArtArmenia

Karine Grigoryan is the Founder and President of “Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities in Armenia. She is an advisory board member of the Women’s Human Rights Institute at the University of Toronto, and a member of the State Gender Equality Committee in Shirak Region, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women in Armenia. She has also been a board member of the Anti-discrimination Coalition in Armenia. Karine led the Coalition for Inclusive Legal Reform, a grouping of disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and civil society organizations in Armenia that called for the adoption of a draft disability law. Her organization led the first research conducted on the political participation of Armenian women with disabilities. In 2017, Karine received the “Promoting Equal Opportunities” award from the Embassies of France and Germany for her work on rights of women with disabilities, as well as awards from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Gyumri Municipality and Shirak Regional Administration for her contribution to create equal opportunities and advocacy work for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Much of her work involves introducing disability and gender perspective into existing national development programs and agendas. Karine has traveled to more than 20 countries in the world to participate in disability and human rights related international events, including the United Nations in New York and Geneva to present the situation of women with disabilities in Armenia.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Inclusion Through Art

In collaboration with the Puppet Theater in Gyumri, Armenia, Karine organized and executed a total of eight installments of a puppet show, titled “The Bunny from the Moon,” which focused on sharing DEIA principles with children. In total, about 700 children attended the shows. The audience included children with and without disabilities, children from economically disadvantaged families, and internally displaced children. After each puppet show, children that attended the event participated in a guided discussion to further their understanding of the DEIA principles presented in the show and teach them how to implement this work into their daily lives.

"There is a boy on our street, he is our neighbor. He is very shy, always with his mother, as she helps him walk. He doesn’t play with us. Next time when I see him, I shall approach him and invite him to play together." - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Karine was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time - Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

U.S. Communities Visited

San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Orlando, FL

Country: Armenia

Click here to go back to the IVLP Impact Awards Main Page