Home » Women Activists Praise Azerbaijan’s Support for Rural Women

Women Activists Praise Azerbaijan’s Support for Rural Women

by Narges Mohammadi

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today concluded its consideration of the sixth periodic report of Azerbaijan, with Committee Experts praising Azerbaijan’s support for rural women, and raising questions about amended laws that affected foreign grants for non-governmental organizations, as well as the draft national action plans promoting gender equality.

A Committee Expert praised the action plan for supporting rural women, and the association for rural women established in collaboration with the World Bank.  Strict gender roles and stereotypes persisted in rural areas, however.  How would Azerbaijan support women’s access to land, loans from banks and advisory services? 

Dalia Leinarte, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Azerbaijan, addressed legislation on non-governmental organizations, saying that amendments passed on laws in 2014 were negatively affecting these organizations.  Under these amendments, non-governmental organizations were prevented from receiving foreign grants.  What was being done to ensure funding for non-governmental organizations?

Ms. Leinarte said that Azerbaijan’s draft national action plans promoting gender equality demonstrated that Azerbaijan was fully focused on creating an equal and egalitarian society.  However, neither the Constitution nor the 2006 law on gender equality covered both direct and indirect discrimination against women in the private and public spheres, and instead took a gender-neutral approach.  Another Expert also commended the State party on the policies it had prepared on gender equality and women’s empowerment and asked what was the timeframe for the implementation of these draft plans. 

Introducing the report, Bahar Muradova, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs and head of the delegation, said that draft legislation aiming to improve the rights of women included draft action plans on ensuring gender equality and women’s employment, and implementing Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. 

The delegation said that the draft national action plans on Security Council resolution 1325 and on gender equality had been prepared.  After being signed by the President’s office, these plans would be implemented immediately.  The war and the pandemic had slowed the progress, but the delegation hoped that these plans would be approved in the coming days. 

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