About Center

Yerevan State University /YSU/ Center for Gender and Leadership Studies

YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies was established on May 7, 2013 in the framework of “Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Armenia” three-year USAID project. The project is implemented with the cooperation The Melikian Center; Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies and The School of Social Transformations, Arizona State University.


The main goal of the Center is to promote gender equality and leadership in the Armenian society. YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies provides comprehensive research, training, and outreach functions engaging Armenian higher education institutions, local NGOs and international agencies in training women for career promotion and professional leadership.

The Objectives of the Center: 

  • To raise awareness on gender issues in the Armenian society, and influence policies on gender-related matters with instructional, research, advocacy, and outreach activities.
  • To provide students with cutting-edge training through newly designed graduate and undergraduate curricula in women and gender studies.
  • To collaborate with the YSU Alumni and the Career Center, which specialize in career mentoring, workshops, and seminars to help women in utilizing educational capital into career, professional, and political leadership advancements
  • To develop a sustainable outreach strategy to link CGLS /Center for Gender and Leadership Studies/with recognized and active women’s NGOs, state and international organizations, and higher educational institutions in and beyond the borders of Yerevan.
  • To develop an outreach program of conferences, professional networking, and other training opportunities for Armenian women seeking professional advancement in local private and public sectors.
  • To serve as an interdisciplinary research platform to advance research and public policies on gender issues and women’s leadership.




Since 2017 the Center organized short Certificate-Based Training Courses. 


Since 2022 the Center is also open for all interested students as a safe space and a drop-in point. 




Gohar Shahnazaryan: Director

Tel: +374 60 71 03 90
E-mail: goarshahnazaryan@gmail.com

Siran Hovhannisyan: Research and Education Programs Coordinator
Tel: +374 60 71 03 90
E-mail: siranhovhannisyan@ysu.am, siranhovhan@gmail.com 



Lyudmila Shirvanyan: Program Assistant 

Tel: +374 60 71 03 90
E-mail: cgls@ysu.am 




Former Employees:


Sinara Navoyan: Program assistant 
MA in Sociology, PhD Student of Faculty of Sociology
Yerevan State University
Tel: +374 60 71 03 90


Syuzanna Grigoryan: Assistant

BA in Sociology

Tel: +374 60 71 03 90

Small Grants Receivers (2013-2015):

Arthur Atanesyan: Arthur Atanesyan is doctor of political sciences and professor of the Department of Applied Sociology at YSU Faculty of Sociology. Since 2008 he is the head of Department of Applied Sociology. His professional academic interests are in the fields of communication studies, informational security, studies of informational wars, regional and ethnic conflicts, political processes. In 2014 A. Atanesyan has implemented a research project on “Women in Armenian Armed Forces: self-perception and opportunities for the better recruitment and adaptation policies” funded by the YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies.

Ani Kojoyan: Ani Kojoyan is a DPhil candidate and a lecturer of English at Yerevan State University (hereafter YSU). She got her BA and MA in English from YSU, and her second Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Oxford. In 2013 (August-December) she was a visiting scholar at Arizona State University (ASU). At ASU she carried out research on Gender and Women’s Studies, focusing mainly on the following topics: language and gender; language and communication, gender and Early Modern English drama; and feminism and folklore, gender and media studies, gender and genocide. At university she delivers English classes, and lectures on 'Gender, Language and Communication', and 'Gender in Early Modern English Drama'. In 2014 she carried out co-operative research with Anna Gevorgyan, researcher at YSU Center for Civilization and Cultural Studies on “Gendered Violence and Power in Armenian Soap Operas: Women, Masculinity and Violence”, funded by the YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies.

Anna Melikyan: Anna Melikyan currently works as a human rights officer at Civil Society Institute NGO, Yerevan. Since 2013 Ms. Melikyan is a member of Public Monitoring Group over Penitentiary Institutions under the Ministry of Justice of Armenia. In 2010-2012 Ms. Melikyan worked as a human rights monitor for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mission to Osh, Kyrgyzstan following the inter-ethnic violence in that region in 2010. Prior to this assignment and following it, Ms. Melikyan worked for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in programs aimed at integrating gender perspective and promoting women in security sector reform as well as promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. Ms. Melikyan holds Master degree from the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University and LL.M from Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law. Anna Melikyan is actively engaged in research projects on issues related -o the human rights situation in Armenia.

Hasmik Shapaghatyan: Hasmik Shapaghatyan has PhD in political sciences since 2000. Since 2007 she works at the department of Political institutions and processes of YSU Faculty of Political Science as associate professor. From June to December 2014 she has implemented a research on “Political Participation of Women in the Elections for the Local Territorial Administration Bodies: Problems and Perspectives” in the cooperation with Lusine Poghosyan from Yerevan State Linguistic University in the context of Small Grants Program of YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies.

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan: Hovhannes Hovhannisyan received his PhD in June 2007 and the theme of his thesis was “The reformation movement in Armenian Apostolic Church within 1901-1906”. He has also graduated from Public Administration School of Armenia in 2002 and Diplomatic Academy of Armenia in 2010. He is currently working at the Department of the History of Religions, Faculty of Theology, Yerevan State University as associated-professor, and American University of Armenia as an associated professor. He is currently also the executive director of SKIL Foundation (www.skilfound.com). In 2014 Hovhannes Hovhannisyan has implemented a research on “Women role perceptions in traditional and non-traditional religious communities in Armenia” funded by the YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies.

Inga Harutyunyan: In 1999 Inga Harutyunyan graduated from YSU department of Psychology at the faculty of Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology. During 1999-2000 continued her education at Rutgers The State University of New Jersey and received MA in Special Education and Psychology. During 2000-2001 was working as a learning consultant/psychologist at the Madonna Catholic School in Nebraska, USA. Starting 2003 and up to the date Inga has assumed the position of lecturer (Assistant Kafedry) at the Chair of Psychology at YSU and was a lecturer at the Medical Psychology and Psychiatry Chair at the Yerevan State Medical University. In 2008 she defended her PhD thesis and started to work as the of Head of International Affairs department at the Human Rights Defender’s Office of Armenia while keeping her academic career at YSU. In 2011 Inga took over the position of Civil Society & Women’s Program’s Coordinator at the Open Society Foundation-Armenia. Since 2012 Inga works as Design, Monitoring & Evaluation and Gender point person for World Vision Armenia.

Knarik Arakelyan: Knarik Arakelyan is a psychologist. She is a professor of the department of Chair of Psychology of Person at the YSU Faculty of Philosophy and Psychology since 2011. In spring 2014 she has participated in the “Semester in Residence” program Arizona State University school of Social Transformation provided by the YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies. Since 2011 K. Arakelyan is also PhD student at the faculty of Philosophy and Psychology. Knarik Arakelyan’s professional (academic) research interests are in the fields of Victimology, Women’s Victimization, Violence Against Women, Psychology of Law, Psychology of Destructive Behavior, and Deviantology.

Lusine Poghosyan: Lusine Poghosyan is lecturer at UNESCO Chair on Human Rights, Democracy and European Studies of Yerevan State Linguistic University after Valery Brusov. From June to December 2014 she has implemented a research on “Political Participation of Women in the Elections for the Local Territorial Administration Bodies: Problems and Perspectives” in the cooperation with Hasmik Shapaghatyan from Yerevan State Linguistic University in the context of Small Grants Program of YSU Center for Gender and Leadership Studies.


Our Funding Partners

Arizona State University

ASU Melikian Center


HED Program


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Center for Gender and Leadership Studies
Tel: +37460710390
Extension: 2390
E-mail: cgls@ysu.am
Address: #1 Alex Manoogian, 0025, Yerevan State University, Faculty of Radio physics, room 436
Yerevan, Armenia

This website is made possible by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.