Women in Azerbaijan

Women in Azerbaijan officially have male rights, social discrimination is still a problem. Traditional social norms and weak economic development in the rural areas of the country cause a woman’s role in the economy, and women have difficulty using their legal rights for sexual discrimination.

The status of women in Azerbaijan has undergone major changes over the past few millennia. Nevertheless, women in Azerbaijan have contributed to solving the fateful issues of the people throughout the history of the country. During the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 , equal rights of all peoples living in the country and both sexes were determined by law. Thus, Azerbaijan became the first country in the East to give women the right to vote.

In the Middle Ages the rulers of the Red Arslan s wife Gatiba lady, Uzbek lady wife Mehrican lady, Uzun Hasan ‘s mother Sara Khatun , Shah Ismail Khatai daughter Məhinbanu Sultan , Shirvan Xəlilullanın wife Pari lady, Shah Abbas ‘s mother Kheyransa sir, legendary Tuti Bika , and others prominent political and state figures have made a great mark in the history of the country.

The first women’s charitable society in Azerbaijan was established in 1908 and the initiator of the establishment of this women’s organization was Hanifa Melikova , the wife of the public figure of Hasan bay Zardabi . On May 28, 1918, the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Azerbaijan established the principle of equality, the right to choose and be elected. 5 As a result, Azerbaijan became the first country in the East to choose women and to be elected.

During the Soviet era , the Azerbaijani woman passed a very complicated and honorable way. Women’s emantipation is the major achievement of the era in the short term, the eradication of illiteracy among women, the ability to have women’s rights as men, and to exercise their talent and abilities, by acquiring women’s teachers, physicians, engineers and other professions. 1921 entered the history of Azerbaijan as the year of the first congress of women. Nariman Narimanov’s speech, which was the main topic of the conference, was the idea of women’s freedom. A great deal of work has been done to enlighten Azerbaijani women and increase public activeness in a short period of time. In 1921, a pre-school education institution for girls was transformed to the Higher Female Pedagogical Institute. The first female club founded at the initiative of Jeyran Bayramovan played an important role in the development of women’s movement during this period. The launch of the East Women magazine in 1923 was a remarkable event in the history of women’s movement in Azerbaijan. The congresses of Azerbaijani women during the Soviet era held in 1957, 1967 and 1972 played an important role in the development of women’s movements in Azerbaijan and its more organized form.

Azerbaijani women were at the forefront of the struggle for independence. Since 1988, women have been involved with men in complicated processes in the republic. There were women among the victims of the bloody tragedy committed by Soviet troops in Baku and other cities and districts of the country on January 19-20, 1990 . During the active phase of the Karabakh war, 2,000 women from 74,000 military personnel in Azerbaijan, and 600 of them were directly involved in military operations. Azerbaijani national heroes – journalist Salatin Asgarova and physician Gultekin Asgarova, who died in the Karabakh warthey became a symbol of self-sacrifice of the new era. As a result of the occupation of 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan by Armenian invaders, there are more than a million women among Azerbaijani citizens who have been abducted from their native home. Majority of the major problems arising from the Karabakh war, including the lives of refugees and displaced persons, fell primarily on women – mothers, sisters, girls and brides.

The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, adopted in 1995, created a legal basis for active participation of women in the process of building a democratic state with men. In Article 25 of the Constitution, which establishes a reliable basis for the protection of women’s rights, it is clearly unambiguously determined that all equality before the law and before the courts, as well as men and women have the same rights and freedoms. The third part of that article prohibits the equality of everyone’s rights and freedoms, regardless of gender, and prohibits the restriction of human and civil rights and freedoms by sex. In 1995, in Beijingthe National Committee for Women, which has been operating in Azerbaijan during the preparation for the Fourth World Women’s Conference, has prepared and submitted a national report to the Beijing Conference. Following the conference, discussions and conferences on the National Platform for Action were held. On June 30, 1995, the Republic of Azerbaijan joined the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and took appropriate commitments.

Important steps have been taken to ensure gender equality in Azerbaijan after the adoption of the Constitution. The State Committee on Women’s Issues was set up to implement gender policy on Heydar Aliyev ‘s decree of 14 January 1998 . The main purpose of the Committee was to protect women’s rights and to increase their participation in the social and political life of the country. In 2000, Heydar Aliyev signed a decree on the implementation of the State Women’s Policies in the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to ensure a fair representation of women’s equality with men, in particular, their proper representation in the public administration system. The decree emphasizes that women should have equal representation with men at the executive level, taking into account the type of activities in all the state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Both the creation of a state committee and the signing of the decree have opened a new stage in the country’s implementation of women’s politics.

In 2000, the National Action Plan on Women’s Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2000-2005) was approved. In the National Action Plan, the government has always been focusing on women’s issues, taking immediate action on women’s issues, and preparing state programs. In 2006, by the decree of President Ilham Aliyev, the State Committee for Women’s Issues was reorganized as the State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Issues. In 2006, the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Gender Equality”. The law defines the main directions and tasks of the state policy on gender equality.

While in 2004, only 4 percent of municipal members in Azerbaijan were women, in 2009 this figure rose to 26.5 percent. In 2011, one of the three deputy chairpersons in Azerbaijan, 20 out of 125 MPs, Human Rights Commissioner , 1 State Committee Chairman, 1 State Commissioner, 4 Deputy Ministers, Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan and 1 Judge was. In the same year, nearly 90 non-governmental women’s organizations functioned in the country.

Women’s freedom chronology
1889 Nigar Shikhlinskaya became the first Azeri female to obtain a higher education. Tiflis
1901 Empress Alexandra School, the first Azeri secular girls’ school and the first of such kind in the Russian Empire, opened. Baku
1908 Saint Petersburg Women’s Medical College graduate Sona Valikhan became the first certified Azeri female physician. Saint Petersburg
1908 Philanthropist Hamida Javanshir founded the first Azeri coeducational school. Kahrizli
1910 Actress Govhar Gaziyeva became the first Azeri woman to appear on stage. Tiflis
1911 Khadija Alibeyova published Ishig, the first Azeri-language women’s magazine. Tiflis
1912 The first Azeri female opera singer Shovkat Mammadova made her first stage performance. Baku
1919 Azerbaijani women were granted the right to vote.
1919 Pari Sofiyeva became member of the Georgian parliament and the first democratically elected ethnic Azeri woman. Karaiazi
1929 Izzat Orujova became the first Azerbaijani female actress to act in a feature film.
1930 Gynaecologist Adila Shahtakhtinskaya became the first Azeri woman to earn a doctoral degree.
1931 Leyla Mammadbeyova performed her first flight and became the first Azerbaijani female aviator. Baku
1932 The first Azerbaijani ballerina Gamar Almaszadeh debuted in Shakh-Senem. Baku
1938 People’s Commissar of Justice Ayna Sultanova became the first Azerbaijani female cabinet minister.
1949 Biologist Valida Tutayug became the first Azeri female member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (founded in 1945).
1964 Sakina Aliyeva was elected Chair of the Supreme Soviet of Nakhchivan, becoming the first Azerbaijani female head of parliament. Nakhchivan
2007 Manzar Ismayilova became the first Azeri female pastor.
2009 Natavan Mirvatova was promoted to major general, the third highest military rank in Azerbaijan and the highest a female has ever been elevated to.

Family and marriage
In 2011, the Family Code reveals that girls’ marriages were raised from 17 to 18. According to the novelty, forcing a woman to marry is punishable by a fine of 2,000 to 3,000 manats, or by imprisonment for up to two years. The same deeds shall be punishable by a fine ranging from three to four thousand manats or imprisonment for a term of up to 4 years.

The Second World War promoted a wider involvement of women in labor. In many areas, women were replaced by women on the front lines. At that time , the captain of the female ship such as Leyla Mammadbeyova , Zuleikha Seyidmammadova , Sona Nuriyeva and Shovkat Salimova had grown up. During the war, Azerbaijani women fought courageously at the forefront, demonstrated dedication and sacrifice on the back.

According to the official statistic of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2015, 81.0% of individual entrepreneurs engaged in entrepreneurship were men and 19.0% were women. Women accounted for 39.6% of individual entrepreneurs in the field of “Trade, repair of vehicles”, 20.2% in “Other services” and 17.7% in “Agriculture, forestry and fishing”. During this period , Mrs. Nigar Kocharli , head of the Ali and Nino bookstore , Leyla Nasrullayeva, Head of Strategic Marketing Department of Azerfon , and Teyba Guliyeva, head of Societe Generale Banking Group in Azerbaijan, can be mentioned.

The creation of secular theaters, democratic press, mother tongue schools, girls’ schools and women’s gymnasiums has opened new horizons for the comprehensive development of Azerbaijani women. During this period, charity also played an important role in society as well as enlightenment. The charity societies of the millennium created by Govhar Gajar , Hamida Mammadguluzadeh , Nigar Shikhlinskaya , Masmakhan Talishinskaya , Sultanat khanim Ahmadova and others were doing a great job. The Tazabir mosque, which is a magnificent monument of that time, is also one of those charity events, such as Nabat Khanum Ashurbeyli-Rzayevabuilt by. As a logical consequence of all these works, the right to be elected to women for the first time in the history of Azerbaijan.

The achievements of Azerbaijani women in the fields of science and culture during Soviet times are a consistent proof of their great talent and dedication. Skillful masters of the theater scene , Marzieh Davudova , Fatima Kadri , Government Gurbanova , Enlightening Kalantarli , West Shakinskaya , Leila Badirbeyli , Nasiba Zeynalov , Shafiga Mammadova , Amalia Panahov , the Azerbaijani ballet stars Kamer Almaszade , Leila Vakilova , Girlfriend Akhundova , singers Mammadova ,The truth Rzayeva , Shaukat Ali , Sara started , Rubaba speaker , Fatma Mehraliyeva , T. Ismayilova , Jane Khanlarova prominent composers Aghabaji Rzayeva , Shafiga Akhundova , Alizade , female artists Vajiha Samedova , Basil Topchubashova , Rose Mustafayeva , Elmira Shahtakhtinskaya , Maral Rahman Azerbaijan have made a worthy contribution to the development of their culture.

Literature and science
During the Middle Ages, which was an important milestone in the development of Azerbaijani culture and science, the activities of the Azerbaijani woman served to preserve and enrich the national and cultural traditions of the Azerbaijani people. The poems of Mahsati Ganjavi , one of the prominent representatives of XII century poetry , introduced the name of the Azerbaijani woman in distant provinces. The 19th century characterizes the activity of women in the life of Azerbaijan and great creative successes. In this sense, Khurshidbanu Natevan United States, Lord, Lord Beyim Agabacının , Qoncəbəyimin , Fatma Kamine , Sahnigar lady ‘s,The creativity of Geydar Shayda Garabagh and others attracts attention. The political, economic and cultural processes that took place in Azerbaijan in that century gave a powerful impetus to the education of women and their active participation in public life. Women’s poets and writers of Azerbaijan – Nigar Rafibeyli , Mirvarid Dilbazi , Medina Gulgun , Government Billuri , Aziza Jafarzadeh , and Khanimana Alibeyli also made an indelible imprint on the history of Azerbaijani literature development.

Crime and law
According to the “Human Development 2007” report in Azerbaijan, cases of violence against IDPs are 7 percent higher than other communities. One of the most obvious examples of violence against women is early and / or violent marriages. This was regarded as a major social problem during UN delegations’ visits.

In 2010, the law on “Prevention of Domestic Violence” was adopted. 76 of these cases were assassinated, and 193 were massacred. There are no reports of murders.

A criminal case that resulted in the killing of 11th grade student Aytac Babayeva in Baku in 2015 has caused resonance in the country. Aytac Babayeva’s brutal murder in 2015 in the February 13, when the Turkiyəd to the Ozgecan the murder of Aslan said. Both offenders are considered examples of violence and violence against women.

Voting rights
Universal suffrage was introduced in Azerbaijan in 1918 by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, thus making Azerbaijan the first Muslim-majority country ever to enfranchise women.

Political representation
As of 2007, several women held senior government positions, including deputy speaker of parliament, several deputy ministers, and deputy chair of the Central Election Commission. There are no legal restrictions on the participation of women in politics. As of 2015, there were 21 women in the 125-seat parliament. The percentage of female members of parliament increased from 11 to 17 percent between 2005 and 2015.

As of May 2009, women held the positions of Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Deputy Chairman of the Nakhchivan AR Cabinet of Ministers, four Deputy Ministers, an Ambassador, and Ombudsmen of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan AR. Women constituted 4 of the 16 members of the Central Election Commission and chaired of 3 of the 125 district election commissions. There were no female ministers or heads of executive governments of cities or rayons, except for Hijran Huseynova who chairs the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs and Maleyka Abbaszadeh who is the chair of the State Students Admission Commission. The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of Azerbaijan Republic is the primary government agency overlooking the activities in protection of rights of women in the country. In 2015, Natavan Gadimova was appointed Minister of Culture of the Nakhchivan AR. As of 2016, 11% of the country’s professional judges were women, which is the lowest proportion in Europe.

In 2017, Mehriban Aliyeva was appointed Vice President of Azerbaijan, the highest position a woman has occupied in Azerbaijan since the abolition in 1994 of the office of Secretary of State most recently occupied by Lala Shovkat.

During the active phase of the Nagorno-Karabakh War 2,000 of Azerbaijan’s 74,000 military personnel were women, and 600 of them directly took part in the military operations. Military service for women is voluntary; currently there are around 1,000 women serving in the Azerbaijani army.

Though a secular country, Azerbaijan requires certification and registration for people performing religious rites. Muslim women in Azerbaijan can study to become certified mullahs and lead women-only gatherings, a tradition that goes back centuries. As of 2016, there was one local female Lutheran pastor in Azerbaijan.

Participation in the job market
Though the majority of Azerbaijani women have jobs outside the home, women are underrepresented in high-level jobs, including top business positions.

Domestic violence
On 22 June 2010, the Azerbaijani Parliament adopted the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence.

In 2000, Azerbaijan signed up to the Optional Protocol of CEDAW, recognizing the competence of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, after which it can receive and consider complaints from individuals or groups within its jurisdiction.

Rape is illegal in Azerbaijan and carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. A new domestic violence law come into force in 2010, which criminalized spousal abuse, including marital rape. Nevertheless, others highlight that in reality many in Azerbaijan do not consider this as a crime and the prevailing culture does not encourage complaints about marital rape.

During 2011 female members of parliament and the head of the State Committee on Women and Children increased their activities against domestic violence. Media coverage of domestic violence issues also began to raise awareness of the problem. A 2010 law establishes a framework for investigation of domestic violence complaints, defines a process to issue restraining orders, and calls for the establishment of a shelter and rehabilitation center for victims.

However societal attitudes lag behind: 40% of Azerbaijanis surveyed in 2012 still believed that agree that women should tolerate domestic violence in order to keep their family together, and 22% agreed that there are times when a woman deserves to be beaten. The 2006 renaming of the state Committee on Women’s Issues as he State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs (SCFWCA) has also been interpreted by some as a protectionist approach that views women as vulnerable “reproductive units” rather than independent individuals.

Prostitution in Azerbaijan
Prostitution is an administrative offense rather than a crime and is punishable by a fine of up to $102 (88 AZN). Pimps and brothel owners may be sentenced to prison for up to six years.

Source from Wikipedia