* The present document is being issued without formal editing.
Sixth periodic report submitted by Azerbaijan under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2019 *
[Date received: 14 June 2019]
1.The sixth periodic report of the Republic of Azerbaijan in relation to the implementation of UN CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) is elaborated by the Working Group established by the Decree 504 dated 20 September 2018 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Increasing the Effectiveness of Cooperation with the UN Human Rights Mechanisms on the basis of data provided by relevant ministries and committees.
2.This Decree delegates the right to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to act as a lead agency over the activities of the said Working Group, and it has established the Working Group composed at the level of deputies of relevant State institutions to ensure the supervision in elaboration of periodic reports of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the implementation of recommendations adopted for the Republic of Azerbaijan in the framework of the Universal Period Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council.
3.The information provided by NGOs, and particularly by women’s organizations is used in the preparation of the National Report. The discussions dedicated to women’s rights are conducted with CCO, and the final report is distributed to all of them.
4.At the same time, we inform that the updated Common Core Document submitted by the Government of Azerbaijan to UN OHCHR on 20 October 2017 reflects the framework of the national policies on women.
Information relating to paragraph 8, 9 and 42 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
5.The Government of Azerbaijan conducts regularly women’s awareness operations. SCFWCA has organized awareness missions to promote among women the General Recommendations of the CEDAW Committee, including the CEDAW itself (the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) and its Additional Protocols. The special project on Strengthening the Role of Civil Society in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights is being elaborated to increase the role of non-governmental organizations in monitoring and reporting to ensure the implementation of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Capacity building activities has been fulfilled to accomplish this target: i) increasing of overall legal literacy of NGOs on various international mechanisms on women’s rights, and particularly, the CEDAW and its Additional Protocol; ii) increasing the knowledge of NGO sector to act as an effective advocate of women’s rights; iii) providing NGOs with resources and practical skills to conduct a monitoring and elaborate alternative reports on women’s rights. Capacity building measures have included the preparation of educational resources and tools coupled with awareness sessions and training courses. 20 NGO representatives have taken part in training sessions. Legal guidelines on CEDAW Convention are developed and printed for NGOs. At the same time, the set of core principles is formed and printed to be used in drawing the alternative CEDAW reports. A training module comprising resources related to the increasing economic and social rights of women on the basis of CEDAW is developed and circulated to different users.
6.During the years of 2016–2017, the training courses On Ensuring the Affordability of Justice for Women, On Ensuring Access of Women to the Administration of Justice, on using the CEDAW Convention, On Articles 3 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of torture and prohibition of discrimination), On Property Right and Prohibition of Discrimination in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights are organized for judges, prosecutors and lawyers at the Justice Academy of the Ministry with joint organizational support of the Council of Europe and the Academy of Justice.
7.In the framework of Good Governance Program implemented jointly with the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Ministry of Justice, the project of Women’s Access to Justice in Eastern Partnership Countries: Observation of the provisions of the Istanbul Convention and other European standards is underway since 1 January2019. This project is aimed at issues related to violence victims’ access to justice, raising awareness among layers on such issues and others. The project cycle will last until 31 December 2021.
8.During the years of 2016–2018, the Council of State Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has provided AZN 564,500 (332 thousand $) to the project proposals of 66 NGOs. 220 persons were involved in general for the fulfillment of events and measures in the framework of these projects, and 10,686 persons have benefitted from those operations. The main topics of the projects are following: combating GBV, preventing schools drop outs, early marriage, equal rights and duties in family life, empowerment of women, women leadership.
9.The Ombudsperson Office has conducted regular awareness raising campaigns on women’s rights.
10.Periodic reports of the Republic of Azerbaijan in relation to the implementation of CEDAW Convention and Concluding Observations are discussed within local communities among representatives of NGOs, municipalities active women groups and sent to public agencies.
Information relating to paragraph 10 and 11 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
11.In 2013, a particular emphasis was put to the involvement of women in public agencies and decision-making processes, including their participation in intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental sectors. It sought to develop various training programs on women’s leadership and organize events enabled both men and women to combine their family and corporate commitments. The Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Azerbaijan has initiated proposals to broaden the opportunities for female politicians, deputies, active women and female entrepreneurs working in different areas. She has also participated actively in local and international networking.
12.In 2017 in order to ensure the effectiveness of legal awareness campaigns, a particular attention was put to form human rights informed youngsters at the Leadership School aiming to promote the rights of a child and acting under the Azerbaijan Children and Youth Peace Network (ACYPN) in association with the Ombudsperson’s Center of Resources for Elderly and Ombudsperson’s Resource Center for the Rights of a Child where thousands of persons have benefitted. A series of events has been organized to form leadership skills and public activeness among young people, enable them to learn their rights and teach their peers.
13.On 20–21 April 2017, the training was organized for the Working Group (composed of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Milli Majlis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the State Committee of Refugees and IDPs’ Affairs, SCFWCA and civil society institutions) to elaborate the National Action Plan for Azerbaijan in line with Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council. The training courses have lasted 2 days and were organized with the support of SCFWCA, the Society of Women for Rational Development, the Gender Port international organization and the UK Government. Also, the Working Group has visited London for experience sharing in June 2018. The meetings have taken place with representatives of the UK Foreign Office, the Analytical Center, and NGOs. The draft of the National Action Plan to implement the Resolution 1325 is under elaboration. Three public discussions have been already held. It should be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers in fall 2019.
14.Azerbaijan was also represented at training courses related to the Elimination of Gender Stereotypes and Fulfillment of Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council and held by the Georgian Association of Women IDPs in Tbilisi and Gori on 21–25 November 2017.
15.On September 20, 2018, NATO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan have organized the conference on Women, Peace and Security in Baku. This event was attended by the NATO Deputy Secretary General, the Chair of SCFWCA of Azerbaijan, Head of Azerbaijani Permanent Office of NATO, members of the Milli Majlis, representatives of law enforcement bodies and leaders of CSO of Azerbaijan and Georgia. This conference has reviewed the gender issues from the prospective of peace and security.
16.In 2016–2018, the State Council for the Support of NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has printed 26 booklets, 3 guidebooks and 40 other materials reflecting the legislation on the women’s rights and other legislative acts in this sphere.
Information relating to paragraph 12 and 13 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
17.The problems faced by refugees and IDPs are always in the focus of attention of the Government of Azerbaijan. During past years, 72 decrees and orders were signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan have adopted 220 decisions and decrees; and, 11 laws were passed by the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Only in 2018, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has signed 6 decrees and orders while the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan has adopted 7 decisions and decrees.
18.The work is also going on to improve the wellbeing of refugees and IDPs. By the volume of resources allocated for the people of this category, Azerbaijan occupies one of first places among world nations. During last 15 years, the poverty threshold among IDPs has dropped from 75% to 12%. In 2018, the amount spent per one IDP was AZN937.
19.During previous years, 102 modern settlements and a living compound consisted of multi floored buildings with total area of 3,5 million square meters and all social and technical infrastructure were created for refugees and IDPs in over 30 cities and districts of the country. These new settlements have 156 schools, 6 musical and 1 art schools, 1 Recreation Palace, 62 cultural and 63 medical centers, 65 kindergartens, 2 Olympic compounds. 775 km of roads, 985 km of water pipelines, 1,800 km of overhead electric lines, 655 km of gas pipeline, 78 km of communication lines, 62 km of heating and 102 km of sewerage lines, 193 km of drainage network, and 866 power transformers of different output capacity are built in this period.
20.The State Program on Improving Living Conditions of Refugees and IDPs and Increasing their Employment approved by the Decree 298 dated 1 July 2004 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Approval of the State Program on Improving Living Conditions of Refugees and IDPs and Increasing their Employment and its additional documents inserted to the said Program by Decrees 2475 dated 31October 2007 and 1346 dated 21 February 2011 are being implemented successfully.
21.Women have also benefited from these conditions provided for refugees and IDPs in the country. Needs of women refugees and IDPs are also considered in adoption of documents. (see Annex 1)
22.In order to develop the entrepreneurship, 24 thousand IDPs were given microloans in the amount of AZN14,8 million (approximately USD8,72 million) by the IDP Social Development Fund. Furthermore, the National Fund on Entrepreneurs’ Assistance has provided privileged loans in the amount of AZN47,7 million manat (approximately USD28,11 million) to 2116 IDP entrepreneurs. 4025 new jobs were created for IDPs. The large part of these microloans is used for various agricultural projects: plant cultivation, cattle breeding, soil cultivation, and beekeeping.
23.On 14 February 2017, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has signed the Decree 1243 ‘On Making Changes to the Presidential Decree dated 23 January 2017 to substitute the meal allowances for IDPs and persons equal to them and the privileges on public utilities by the common monthly allowance. In order to implement this Decree, the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted the decision number 55 dated 17 February 2017, the Government has defined the limits in which it pays energy bills for electric energy used by IDPs living temporarily in compact settlements (that are not supplied a natural gas and in cases where gasometers are not possible to be installed).
24.Currently, in accordance with Decree 1920 dated 16 April 2018 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On Making Changes to the Decree 1206 dated 23 January 2017 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Defining Common Monthly Allowance for IDPs and persons equal to them, AZN40 (approximately USD23,57) per month to IDPs living temporarily in individual houses, and AZN22 (approximately USD12,96) to IDPs living temporarily in compact settlements.
25.Stemming out from requirements of the reforms implemented by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2018 in the area of work with refugees and IDPs, 2 new structural sections – Organizational, Supervision and Analytical Section – 1657 Call Center are created within the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs.
26.Following free medical checkup services are extended to refugees and IDPs to protect their health status:
•In 2018, a team of 11 doctors of various profiles has provided medical services to over 1000 settlement residents in total. Almost 600 of them were women;
•On 31 October and 1 November 2018, around 500 IDPs have had the ophthalmology checkup. 300 out of that number were women;
•On November 29, 2018, a team of 23 doctors has provided the medical checkup for almost 500 IDPs at the medical center of Binagadi district. Almost 350 out of that number were women.
27.The Decree 1308 dated 4 August 2003 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Exemption of IDPs from Payment of Tuition Fees that Study in Paid Format in the State Higher and Vocational Education Institutions exempts IDPs from such payment.
28.According to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan 669-IQ dated 21 May 1999 on Social Protection of IDPs and persons equivalent to them, medical services and medical provision for IDPs are extended by the State-run medical institutions in a way defined by relevant executive power authority. IDPs are given allowances in a way and an amount defined by relevant executive power authority to purchase medicines. This year, the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and IDPs has organized free medical checkup actions in Barda, Agjabedi, Terter and the newly created Mushfigabad settlement, and the actions continue.
29.During the years of 2017–2018, SCFWCA and UNHCR have jointly implemented the project ‘Prevention of sexual and gender violence in IDP communities and response measures’. Almost 500 women IDPs have benefited from the project. Besides that, during these years, 16 events were organized for women refugee and IDPs in frontline districts bringing together 215 persons in general. 5 leadership events were also organized with participation of 191 persons.
30.As it goes with various strata of the society, women among IDPs can also be subjected to the discrimination (violence, early marriage, labor exploitation and human trafficking). At the same time, the Government of Azerbaijan keeps in focus educational opportunities of IDP women and children, and the development of skills by promoting their entrepreneurial activities and increasing the participation in governance. However, though the Government put efforts to undertake comprehensive measures, ensure the best lifestyle for our refugees and IDPs, construct and commission residential buildings in line with modern standards, it does not replace fully their way of living as refugees and IDPs.
31.During the years of 2013–2018, 6 events have taken place with participation of 245 IDPs in frontline districts to ensure the safety of women and girls among IDPs and in particular, protect them in cases of violence. Also, 178 persons have taken part at 7 training courses.
Information relating to paragraph 14 and 15 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
32.The position paper of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Changing the Status of SCFWCA is submitted to the CEDAW Committee on 3 May 2018.
33.The National Action Plan of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Gender Equality for the years of 2019–2024 is elaborated with a view to ensure the implementation of Item 7.4 of the Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future – the Development Concept and on the basis of the CEDAW (the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Gender Equality Strategy of the Council of Europe, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 156 concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities.
34.The objectives and tasks (activities) of the National Action Plan of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Gender Equality for the years of 2019–2024 are as follows: improvement of the legislation on gender equality and women’s rights; raising public awareness on gender equality and women’s rights; increasing response measures in relation of gender based violence; attain gender equality in economic area; further development of small female entrepreneurship; increasing competitive skills of women in labor market; prevention and fight against gender stereotypes and discrimination; conducting surveys to identify basic needs of marginalized groups of women and men, and among rural women, persons with disabilities, women IDPs, refugees and elderly; broadening the involvement of women and girls in peace processes; prevention and school drop-outs and early marriages; increasing measures in the area of reproductive health and family planning among population, and particularly women and young families; increasing the presence of women in political and public lives, decision making and governance; undertaking measures to increase employment opportunities among rural women, women with disabilities, women IDPs and refugees (organizing vocational education courses, small business development) and inclusion of gender factor in all policies and activities.
35.The draft National Action Plan envisages upgrading activities of Persons responsible for gender issues and creating the Special Coordination Council composed of focal points on gender issues from public and private sectors
36.The draft document is reviewed jointly with the Public Council of the SCFWCA and NGOs. It is circulated among ministries and State Committees to get their feedback and opinion. The final version comprising feedback and opinion of ministries and State Committees will be sent to the Cabinet of Ministers.
37.On 21 July 2017, SCFWCA has organized the Forum of persons responsible for gender issues in collaboration with the Women’s Society for Rational Development. The goal of this event was to determine needs and prospective to improve the gender coordinating system and the National Women’s Mechanism for gender professionals and participants of target groups. The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Ensuring Equality of Gender (men and women) is a legislative act regulating gender equality in all spheres. However, the implementing mechanisms of the Law need further improvement. In this context, the draft Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan is elaborated On Making Changes to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Ensuring Equality of Gender (men and women) and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan following the consultations with relevant stakeholders.
38.The draft Law comprises the proposals defining the controlling function of a State Agency enforcing the implementation of the Law, describing the commitments of public agencies in the implementation of gender policies, and providing a legal regulation of activities done by focal points on gender issues appointed in public agencies in accordance with the Decision 176 dated 26 September 2000 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
39.The project of Supporting Small Entrepreneurship is under implementation with the support of USAID and the joint organizational efforts of the Fund of Support for Development of Entrepreneurship and Market Economy, the Constitution Research Fund, the Azerbaijani Entrepreneurs Confederation and the State Committee. The aim of project is to increase knowledge and skills, provide institutional support, undertake awareness and improvement measures, draft proposals and extend support for female business development via legislative reforms. In the framework of project, 3 days long training courses were organized on 12–14 and 18–20 December 2018 for persons responsible for gender issues with participation of State institutions and NGOs, including entrepreneurs supported by SCFWCA and experts.
Information relating to paragraph 16 and 17 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
40.Over last years, the changes are made to several legislative acts regulating the activities of NGOs.
41.The main objective of those alterations is to regulate financial issues of NGOs, increase transparency in these of funds transferred from foreign sources, upgrade requirements related to the list of data input into the Register and the constituting documents in relation to the rules of the State Register of legal persons, eliminate inequalities in rights and responsibilities of local NGOs and among them, and envisage the measures alternative to the liquidation of NGOs (such as fine imposition and suspension of activities).
42.According to the Law On State Registration and State Register of Legal Persons, any party that intends to obtain a status of legal person in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan should pass the official registration of a representative office or a branch of foreign legal person and be inserted into the State Register. Commercial organizations, public legal persons, including representative offices or branches of foreign legal persons can start their activities only after passing the State registration.
43.It should be also noted that the legislation does not envisage a compulsory norm on the State registration of NGOs. Currently, many organizations run their activities in the country without the State registration.
44.Except any other cases envisaged in the legislation, it is inadmissible to reject the State registration and the inscription into the State Register, and making changes to the data in the State Register in relation to entities, including a representative office or a branch of foreign legal persons that intend to obtain a status of legal person. According to the data of the State Register of Legal Persons, out of 3296 NGOs registered, there are 136 women’s organizations, 165 rights advocating entities, and at the same time, 322 NGOs are dealing directly with human rights.
45.It is evident that the number of court applications concerning the rejection of the State registration of NGOs has significantly dropped in recent years. Thus, the number of applications filed to the courts has decreased by 9 times in 2018 compared to 2012.
46.Several progressive amendments related to the funding of branches or representative offices of local and foreign NGOs are made to the legislation.
47.The Rules On Registration of Grant Contracts (Decisions) approved on 5 June 2015 by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Rules On Presentation of Data about the Amount of Donations and the Donating Persons Received by NGOs, including branches or representative offices of NGOs of Foreign Countries approved on 21 October 2015, and the Rules On Rights to Provide a Grant by Foreign Donors in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by the Decision 339 dated 22 October 2015 ensure transparency, smooth registration, accessibility, operative action and accuracy.
48.On 21 October 2016, the Head of State has signed the Decree on Applying One Shop Window Principle in relation to the Procedures of Provision of Grants by Foreign Donors in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Decree has entered into force since 1 January 2017.
49.The introduction of one shop window principle relieves a donor of the commitment to apply to two different public agencies and delegates all procedures related to the grant registration to the coordinating public agency. Another considerable innovation aimed at improving the environment for NGO activities envisages that a donor is relieved of a commitment to apply to relevant public agency which reduces the number of necessary documents to be submitted to relevant public agency and shortens the duration of revision of an application to get a donor right by 2 times.
50.As the outcome of the work done, the volume of funds allocated to local beneficiaries in 2018 has increased by 3 times compared to 2014 while funds provided from foreign financial sources has augmented by 2 times.
51.The changes aimed at improvement of the said Laws have positively impacted on the activities of NGOs and CCOs.
52.In 2016, NGOs were allocated AZN207,000 (approximately USD122,016) for the implementation of 22 projects by the State Council for the Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; AZN124,000 (approximately USD73,091) for 19 projects in 2017, and AZN160,000 (approximately USD94,312) for 23 projects in 2018.
53.The State Council for the Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has organized 37 training courses related to the family and women issues and conducted awareness campaigns on women’s rights and gender, mechanisms provided by local and international legislation in 179 regions; they were provided legal and psychological assistance.
54.Training courses and individual counseling on family rights and psychology are organized for young women that intend to enter a family life to raise their legal awareness and help them avoid problems that may arise in the future. At the same time, several reconciliation steps are made for the resolution of practical problems and conflicts in the families. 3 out of 9 families have found reconciliation; there is one reconciled family per each district such as Sabirabad and Shirvan while the head family in Lerik has cancelled his application for divorce.
55.The families are extended the practical legal and psychological support. Website www.himayadar.org is developed for these purposes. Furthermore, the data bank comprising the Database of Coordinates of agencies and experts acting in these areas is created by IT specialists. They have also launched the Data and Documents Archive service. Over a dozen of online banners featuring two infographic and social messages such as “Men and women inside the family: the balance between myself and us, Matrimonial Issues, Divorce”, and “What should a modern/democratic family look like?” are floated on websites and Facebook.
56.A short video is aired on consequences of early marriage. The group of activities comprising representatives of the organizations advocating women’s rights is established.
57.Women that participate actively in public life have benefited from a training dedicated to the topic of Violence against Women is a Violation of Human Rights. Informative booklets and posters are printed under the same name. Also, they have conducted monitoring and public debates. Thousands of persons have benefited from the events dedicated to the preventive measures on domestic violence organized for the public.
58.14 TV broadcasts and 6 short social videos are put on air.
59.On 23-25 January 2019, training courses on Gender Equality in Media are organized jointly by the Council of Europe and SCFWCA for journalists and 4th year bachelor’s degree journalists, including also master’s degree and PhD students of the journalism faculty. The training courses have taken place in the framework of 5 sessions named as Gender Equality and Standards of the Council of Europe in Media, Gender Equality and Media: Legislation and Experience of Azerbaijan, Fighting Sexism Statements, Media Coverage of Gender Issues, Gender Equality in Azerbaijani Media: Prospective and Challenges.
60.The Council of Europe’s Gender Strategy for the years of 2018–2023 is placed on official web page of the SCFWCA.
61.On 13 May 2019, another conference organized jointly by the Council of Europe, SCFWCA and the Ombudsperson Office has taken place debating the topic of Gender Equality and Media.
Information relating to paragraph 18 and 19 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention)
62.Ample opportunities are created in the Republic of Azerbaijan for women to act in all spheres of life. The legislation basis is being also improved for this purpose. The gender component is included in all State and national strategy programs and other important document adopted in the country. This has resulted by increasing activities of women in all sectors.
63.On November 28, 2018, the State Customs Committee has launched a contest for vacant places to be filled by women only. In this regard, the public has been informed beforehand. The aim of this action was to contribute to the State policies aimed at ensuring the gender equality. It should be noted that 270 candidates have participated in the contest.
64.Women have a dominant position in some professions (such as education, healthcare and others). The gender analysis of employment data of the population shows that the share of female workers in 2017 was 47,6% in education, 53,0% in healthcare and social services and 26,2% in recreation, entertainment and art areas.
65.In 2018, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Azerbaijan has proposed the harmonization of the national legislation to the international standards in organizing training courses and seminars in border regions and other districts, increasing efforts to provide legal, psychological and other assistance to the persons, developing specialized modules and legal periodicals aimed at language and cultural development of migrants to increase the measures on legal awareness of various groups of migrants, conducting joint monitoring to define their social, economic and legal responsibilities, increasing supervision over the fulfillment of obligations stemming out from the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and establishing a wider statistical database reflecting the information about migrants, at the same time such persons as women, children, persons with working abilities, persons with disabilities, elderly and others.
66.Dozens of NGO projects are funded by the State Council for the Support of NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to support the integration of women victims of domestic violence, women with disabilities, women of vulnerable strata, ensure their social activeness, reveal and develop their creative skills and knowledge and making them as equal and active part of the society to help them realize their potential. Training courses are run to increase their skills in carpet making, tailoring, and hairdressing, IT, English and project management. Hundreds of women have joined the courses. While mastering these skills, they have found jobs and improved their social status. Polls are conducted among 43 refugee women and young girls within Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani and Chechen communities at the International Women and Youth Refugees Center. 30 of them are involved in professional courses with the participation of community leaders.
Information relating to paragraph 20 and 21 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention)
67.Promoting and raising public awareness work is underway to break the stereotypes. Special training is organized for vulnerable strata of the population living in various communities to eliminate stereotypes among people living in districts and informing them about the role of gender.
68.In order to investigate the mechanisms that engender skewed sex ratio among newly borns in Azerbaijan, SCFWCA and UNFPA have cooperated to conduct a qualitative and quantitative research work in 2014. As a first initiative to study the prevalence and main causes of such phenomenon as sex-selective abortions, this study has proved that the reason stands behind a preference given to boys. In principle, several recommendations are made to solve the problem that was followed by a series of large public awareness campaigns on basis of such recommendations. As a follow‑up, demographic forecasts encompassing the years of 2016–2050 stemming out from various scenarios of sex ratio of newly borns in 2015. The outcomes of this study are widely used in the promotion campaign held to speed up response measures strategy of various State institutions to eliminate this problem.
69.In 2015, UNFPA and the State Statistical Committee have conducted the statistical survey as a joint initiative to study Early Marriages of Girls and Cases of Children Born out of Wedlock. This survey was aimed at studying the reasons that stand behind the cases of children born out of wedlock, learning, investigating the ways of collection of statistical data and preparing relevant proposals. It has covered 9497 households.
70.The collaboration of SCFWCA and UNFPA has resulted by another study on Gender Equality and Gender Relations in Azerbaijan: Current Situation and Opportunities in 2016. This study’s aims were to learn experiences and attitudes of men to gender equality, gender roles and dynamics, parental and care issues, dynamics of relationship inside the household, health issues (including, sexual and reproductive health and rights) and preference given to boys among newly borns. It was based on quantitative poll and qualitative component consisting of semi-structured interviews with respondents living in urban areas. The qualitative component of the study has particularly focused on making decision related to sexual and reproductive health (including preference given to boys), violence against persons in official wedlock or partners, gender roles of men and women with a view to early marriages and family planning, faith and reflections of such persons. The study outcomes revealed that though gender and gender equality stereotypes still persist, a positive dynamic is observed in the country in ensuring gender equality. In this context, concrete strategy and response measures are under development to involve men that participate as fathers in relevant initiatives to join the process of promoting the gender equality.
71.During the years of 2017–2018, UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, SCFWCA and the National Council of Youth Organizations and with the financial support of the Dutch Embassy in Azerbaijan has implemented the project on Raising Awareness among Youth to Promote the Girl Child’s Value in Azerbaijan. The aim of project is to underscore the significance of girl children and their value in the society via awareness measures aimed at active participation of youth and teens. 50 training courses were organized for over 2000 young men in 25 cities and districts of Azerbaijan during the project cycle. During the training, such issues as ‘Violence and Discrimination’, ‘Studying of Gender Roles’, ‘Labor Division in the Family’, ‘Value of Girl Children’ were discussed with young men. On October 11, the Fathers and Daughters Festival was held on the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child. Besides organizing various activities, the main purpose of the Festival was to build emotional and moral ties between fathers and daughters and create an enabling environment for them to spend time together. A promotional social video ‘It is good that you exist’ with participation of famous sportsmen was screened for the public. In the framework of this project, the practical workshop on unbiased reporting of gender-based sex selection was organized for religious communities and local journalists. Public advocacy work was also carried out. A Girl Child Burden performance was put on stage in all districts on the basis of the program on Elimination of Preference Given to Boy Child and Promotion of Girl’s Value.
72.‘Girls Can’ Youth Forum was held on 2 November 2018. This event held with joint organizational efforts of the Azerbaijani Football Federations Association (AFFA), UNICEF and the Dutch Embassy in Azerbaijan and the support of the Ministry of Youth and Tourism and the Ministry of Education, has discusses issues on how to make your girls more active in public life and what else can be done to enable teenagers to get success opportunities within the society.
73.Development programs for young girls and women are implemented in Azerbaijan:
In order to increase educational, leadership and organization skills of girls and teenagers in Azerbaijan, the program of Developing and Enabling Young Girls and Women was implemented in July–September 2017. This program was realized with the support of several training centers in Baku and Sumgayit. During the workshop, over 75 young girls have got an opportunity to meet with local and international trainers coming from Germany, Canada, Turkey, Georgia, China and Sweden. In the framework of this project, trainers were seconded to Georgia in August 7–13 and have organized meetings and seminars for young and teenage Azerbaijani girls near Tbilisi and in Kakheti in the framework of the project of Reducing Early Marriages via Knowledge and Information.
74.During the years of 2015–2018, almost 500 informative broadcasting sets were aired on TV in relation to the elimination of gender stereotypes while exposing positive elements of active participation of women in social, economic and political life. In last 5 years, over 100 informative articles were published in Azerbaijani, Russian and English languages in newspapers and journals. SCFWCA has used social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and twitter to promote the protection of human rights, and particularly, women’s and children’s rights, increase transparency in public services, distribute promotional materials in other areas and demonstrate videos.
75.During the reporting years, Children’s and Family Support Centers of SCFWCA has conducted a series of counseling sessions in relation to various problems and behavioral stereotypes originating from traditions and rites in the districts. The awareness raising campaign is realized to eliminate these stereotypes in communities. The awareness measures were undertaken to alleviate these stereotypes in communities. 153 training courses with participation of 1753 persons, 141 events that covered 4939 persons, and 8 community meetings with participation of 1003 persons were organized in that period. 3832 booklets describing these topics and 4490 information sheets were distributed at local levels. 6 articles were published in the newspaper.
76.Stressing the particular impact of media on the formation of gender stereotypes, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Azerbaijan has doubled her efforts to encourage women to use regularly local and national media, undertake awareness raising measures to support women acting in this area and enable them to use advanced communication means to broaden presence of women and young girls in public life. It has opened up a possibility for many women to share their knowledge and contribute to the networking and e-commerce operations.
77.Going on with the implementation of wider actions and awareness programs to establish the gender sensitive atmosphere in education, increase number and performance of young girls in schools, organize protection mechanisms for young mothers, broaden non-formal education opportunities, involve more young girls to the vocational education, encourage them to continue their secondary and higher education, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Azerbaijan put an initiative to teach the disciplines of Human Rights and Introduction to Gender lectured already for several years in law and other faculties of the Baku State University.
Information relating to paragraph 22 and 23 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (according to Article 5 of the Convention)
78.In 2015, heads of executive authorities of all districts have signed decrees to establish monitoring groups for gender violence and violence against children that are composed of representatives of relevant executive authorities in districts. As a reliable monitoring mechanism for gender violence and violence against children, local monitoring groups perform the coordination of functions in assessing the situation, checking effectiveness of measures undertaken, identifying vulnerable families and providing them relevant support, studying and analyzing violence causes, and in particular, discussing grave violence cases, ensuring the protection of violence victims and providing them with relevant assistance.
79.Starting from 25 October 2016, SCFWCA and UNFPA have launched the project of Fighting Gender based Violence in Azerbaijan with the support of USAID. In the framework of project, a series of serious activities were conducted to set up effective response mechanisms in the area of domestic violence to prevent gender-based violence. Thus, the guidelines on creating intersectoral coordination council in prevention of domestic violence and protection of victims and the draft of National Action Plan for 2019–2023 in Elimination of Domestic Violence and Fight against it in the Republic of Azerbaijan are developed for this purpose. In order to ensure the protection of victims of gender-based violence and provide supporting services, the project focuses on institutional capacity building for various State institutions and NGOs. At the same time, it has made possible to conduct activities aimed at raising public awareness in area of women’s rights and the current services extended to violence victims. In the framework of project, communities and men’s groups have had sessions dedicated to sexual and human rights, including response measures, but also aimed at raising awareness about main types of gender-based violence including psychological and economic exploitation. The training courses on capacity building are held for the staff of 11 Child and Family Support Centers of SCFWCA and NGOs accredited to provide assistance and shelter services for domestic violence victims. The professionals were given 20 sessions detailing hidden parameters of gender-based violence and ways of streamlining and creating response mechanisms.
80.International experts have had meetings and discussions with representatives of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Milli Majlis, various ministries, and also the civil society. At the same time, a special intersectoral data bank was created to register continuously the cases of domestic violence and tracking its dynamics, and jointly with SCFWCA, this data bank has opened up possibilities to conduct relevant analysis as an integrated data center of domestic violence cases registered by the centers accredited by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, and by law enforcement bodies, prosecutors’ offices and judicial bodies, local authorities and assistance centers. Data bank on domestic violence was established in 2015 while the data collected for the years of 2015–2016 passed the analysis (presuming that 346 cases of domestic violence occurred in 2015, and 306 cases in 2016, and 652 cases were analyzed in total). In general, the e-data bank has registered 650 cases for the period from 1 October 2017 to 20 December 2018. 85,5% of persons subjected to domestic violence were women, and the rest of 14,5% are men. The age groups of women victims of domestic violence are as follows: underage girls – 6, 1%; 19–24 age – 10.2%, 25–29 age–10.3%, 30–34 age – 11.5%, 35–39 age – 20.9%, 40–45 age – 20.1%, 45 and older – 6.4%.
81.According to the data collected, the information about the persons that resort to violence is as follows: spouse – 68,4%, former spouse – 12,1%, partner – 11,9%, stepfather, father, elder brother and grandmother – 5,3%, father in law, mother in law, brother in law, sister in law – 1,7%, bride and son in law – 0,6%.
82.To manage this data bank electronically, SCFWCA and UNFPA have presented the software of the data bank on domestic violence on 4 October 2017. On October 11, the training was organized in relation to the use of e-data bank on domestic violence in the framework of project on Fighting Gender based Violence in Azerbaijan. The Persons (the employees of ministries, executive authorities, law enforcement bodies, lawyers, assistance centers, judicial system and NGOs) responsible for the use of data bank have participated at the training.
83.2015 – 6 long term orders in relation to domestic violence;
•2016 – 3 long term and 7 short terms orders in relation to domestic violence;
•2017 – 24 long term and 10 short term orders;
•2018 – 7 long term and 12 short term orders.
84.During the years of 2013–2018, 10 non-governmental assistance centers have passed the accreditation at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population. 6 of these centers are in Baku, 3 – in Ganja, and 1 center is located in Sumgayit city.
85.With the support of UNFPA, the basic services package was developed for women and young girls subjected to violence. The program sets out the guidelines on basic services to be extended by healthcare, social services, police and justice sector institutions, including also its coordination and managing such coordination via specific mechanisms.
86.As a result of joint collaboration, SCFWCA, the State Statistics Committee and UNFPA have conducted a large-scale poll to define the prevalence of domestic violence and strategies to fight violence against women in 2017. The poll was held among 3229 women in 3695 households. Currently, poll outcomes were analyzed. Being as the first poll following after the adoption of the Law on Domestic Violence in 2010, it describes the areas in which the violence prevalence was observed in recent years.
87.Furthermore, the research is conducted on economic indicators of violence against women jointly with the UNFPA in 2018. The results and recommendation given in the research report are broadly used to prepare response measures that will be undertaken to fight domestic violence.
88.Starting from 2014, SCFWCA and GIZ implement the project of Support to Legal and Judicial Reforms. In the framework of the regional program of ‘Legal Approximation towards European standards in the South Caucasus’, various workshops were organized in 9 districts with the organizational support of SCWFCA in 2017. These 2 days long events have taken place in each district with participation of women and men representing various parts of the population. At the same time, the workshop participants have received the Compilation of Legislation related to the Prevention of Domestic Violence as a promotional material. The legal awareness in such areas as domestic violence and women’s rights, and women’s rights in family relations was one of goals of those workshops. In the framework of the project, these 2 days long seminars have made possible to inform 270 women and men about domestic violence and women’s rights, and women’s rights in family relations.
89.In 2018, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population has implemented the project of Creating the Assistance Center for Children Victims of Domestic Violence. The aim of project is to provide the assistance to the children victims of domestic violence and also of human trafficking, and provide social rehabilitation, legal and psychological services for their parents.
90.180 women and children subjected to domestic violence have received following services in 2018:
•Legal services related to the cancellation of wedlock, the claims to increase alimony amounts, define guardianship over a child, right to use an apartment, collect the documents for shelter entry, restore lost documents, obtain a protection order etc.;
•To arrange the psychological counseling services, evaluate the psychological status, address the trauma and extend the psychological rehabilitation service to revert to a normal lifestyle;
•Organize medical services for check-up of women and children with the probability of being subjected to domestic violence.
91.In order to improve the preventive work done by employees based on international experience and working with victims of domestic violence, the methodic guidelines on additional measures in preventing domestic violence and administrative offences harming the human health are elaborated and sent to the police bodies in cities and districts.
92.As the integral part of the sustainable reforms implemented at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the relations between the public and police bodies, and the information sharing are being upgraded constantly. During long years, 102 Emergency Call Line, email service and Hot Line systems are maintained by the Ministry to timely prevent and undertake operative measures against crimes, including domestic violence cases in relation to women and children.
93.According to the amendments and changes made to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Article 157 of the Code envisages a fine and administrative detention for inflicting heavy bodily injures by beating and committing other violent actions. Article 158 of the same Code defines various fines to be imposed in case of domestic violence of economic and psychological nature (the violation of legislation on prevention of domestic violence).
94.Furthermore, the draft of the National Strategy on Development of Social Services in the Republic of Azerbaijan in the years of 2019–2025 which is aimed at the fulfillment of the obligations stemming out from the national legislation on providing social services to the population and from the international treaties adhered by the Republic of Azerbaijan, the adaptation of social services to the constantly updated modern requirements and the provision of reliable social protection of the population in long term based on leading international practice. This National Strategy reflects also the national policies related to the social services system built by the Ministry, the importance and regulation mechanisms of the social development. The draft paper envisages also legal, medical, psychological, social and other services for domestic violence victims on the basis of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Prevention of Domestic Violence. It envisages the investigation of the causes of domestic violence in the country and the creation of organizations that will provide preventive recommendations, elaborate programs and organize public awareness events.
95.The adherence of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence requires additional internal State agreements.
96.As a follow up of the Project of Access for Women Victims of Domestic Violence in the Six Eastern Partnership Countries in the framework of the Program of Partnership for Good Governance implemented by the Council of Europe jointly with the European Union, the new project is elaborated and is passing the last phase of confirmation. The objective of this new project envisaged for the years of 2019–2021 under the name of the Access of Woman to Justice: the implementation of standards of the Istanbul Convention and other European standards on Gender Equality is to broaden the access of women victims of domestic violence to the justice in line of the requirements of the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. It will also contribute to the signing and ratification of the Convention.
97.This project has two components: a) the first component comprises the measures that ensure a sensitive approach of justice agencies to women violence victims; b) the second component envisages enforcing the Istanbul Convention standards to overcome obstacles in accessing the justice. At the same time, it is also planned to develop the educational program, framework indicators, legal assistance and curricula for judges and prosecutors and organize a conference that will be dedicated to the status of ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the Eastern Partnership countries in the framework of three years long project.
Information relating to paragraph 24 and 25 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention)
98.The work is underway to conduct regularly public awareness operations on human trafficking challenges, foster relevant activities of public agencies and civil society institutions, improve legal mechanisms, increase capacity building measures, elevate the operative potential and international contacts at qualitatively new level and undertake other important measures.
99.Preventive actions and operative research operations related to the coercion of women and young girls into prostitution and use of drug substances, involving them into human trafficking and other cases that violate women’s rights, are in the focus of attention at all times.
100.According to the recommendations of UN and Council of Europe human rights institutions, the crimes committed against women and children, including violence-based actions are applied more systemic approach, analyzed by law enforcement agencies. Relevant data base is created and put into use to evaluate the current situation and monitor the trends with a view to demographic and criminal status in various districts. The data base is also added the indicators that help to review crimes, persons that committed these crimes and its victims in the form of regular reports.
101.The Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan contains following articles ensuring the protection of women: Article 108 (sexual violence), Article 125 (instigating to commit suicide), Articles 126–128 (deliberate causing of serious harm to health, deliberate causing of minor serious harm to health, deliberate causing of less serious harm to health), Article 133 (torture), Article 149–153 (actions against one person’s sexual inviolability and sexual freedom) and Article 176-1 (forcing a women into a wedlock).
102.According to the National Action Plan for the years of 2014–2018 On Combating Human Trafficking in the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by the Decree 667 dated 24 July 2014 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, comprehensive protection measures are undertaken to prevent the violation of women’s and young girls’ rights, implement legal and political reforms for the restoration of violated rights, increase capacity building of law enforcement bodies and socially biased public agencies to prevent the cases of sexual and other exploitations, and address the issues related to trafficking in women and children.
103.Furthermore, the country has signed the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, improved the legislation to ensure the safe use of internet and mobile communication means by children and fulfilled the obligations stemming out from International Conventions on child labor and the ILO documents. Necessary steps are also made at the national level to identify victims of human trafficking and forced labor, including children, foreign nationals or persons without citizenship that have suffered and are thought to suffer from human trafficking.
104.The institutions responsible for guardianship and trusteeship of children that suffered and thought to be suffering from human trafficking or being potential victims of trafficking together with the commissions in charge of minors’ issues and the protection of their rights have ensured the protection of their rights and interests on the basis of legislation and helped their social rehabilitation.
105.The monitoring work is underway to help children victims and that are thought to be victims of human trafficking or potential victims to be admitted to secondary educational institutions in places of their temporary residence, prevent any discrimination against them in their educational process and drop-outs of children (girls) from the school and the cases when they are left behind. In order to monitor, inside the families, the status of children (girls) adopted, put under guardianship or custodianship, specific groups are created in places. Children (girls) that do not possess identity documents are issued relevant papers. The Social Institute is established to work with children. The cooperation is fostered with relevant NGOs and international organizations to fight the cases when minors are deprived of parental care and ensure their social rehabilitation.
106.At the same time, employees of public agencies that combat human trafficking and implement social rehabilitation, including specialists of educational institutions and citizens have benefited from special awareness courses based on internal and external cooperation opportunities. The anti-trafficking agencies have broadened their interaction that helped also to share useful information and experience.
107.The changes are made to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan 408-IVQD dated 29 June 2012 by inserting Article171-1 under the name of child pornography circulation. According to this Article, such actions as circulation, advertising, sale, provision to another person, sending, offering, creating conditions for its obtaining or preparing, obtaining or storing the materials for its circulation or advertising entail a criminal liability. Article 171-1.2 of the Code stipulates that those actions can have the aggravating nature once it is committed by a group of persons that act as accomplices beforehand and in repeated manner or by the organized group or the criminal entity (the organization) while making incomes in large quantities or by parents of minors or persons that are delegated the right of a guardianship by the law over minors or by a teacher or another employee of educational, medical or other institutions, including kindergartens that have the obligation of supervision over minors or when it becomes evident that a culpable person commits such action in relation to a child minor fourteen years age. At the same time, it should be noted that Article 99-4.6 of the Code envisages that the child pornography circulation actions are deemed as entailing a criminal liability of legal persons.
108.In 2016, the State Council for the Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has allocated AZN81,000 (approximately USD47,745) in total for 8 projects in area of combating human trafficking. It has reached AZN104,000(approximately USD61,302) in 2017, and AZN110,000 manat (approximately USD64,839) for 15 projects in 2018.
Information relating to paragraph 26 and 27 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (according to Article 7 of the Convention)
109.Regularly, promotional events are organized to increase the participation of Azerbaijani women in public and political life of the country. Women that bring the best of contributions to their area of work and differ by their active position in public and political spheres are awarded the State awards.
110.Azerbaijani women participate more closely and actively in public and political life of the society. By the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev from 21 February 2017 a woman was appointed the First vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Currently, 20 members of the Parliament of 125 members are women. At the same time, one of deputy speakers of the Milli Majlis is woman; 3 of 8 members of human rights committee are women, including 1 of them as chair; 3 of 10 members of the labor and social policy committee; 4 of 10 members of the healthcare committee; 1 of 9 members of public unions and religious institutions committee; 4 of 6 members of the committee for family, women and children’s issues, including 1 of them is chair; 5 of 13 members of the committee on science and education; 6 of 15 members of the committee on culture; 3 of 16 members of the committee on international relations and interparliamentary ties. At the same time, each of discipline and vote count commissions having 7 members has one MP as a woman.
111.1 woman member of Parliament is elected the Vice President of the PACE Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. Furthermore, another woman MP is acting as the deputy chair of the PACE Sub-Committee on the European Social Charter and General Rapporteur on Children. The Republic of Azerbaijan has 2 women ambassadors representing the country in foreign countries. Number of women holding managerial positions, by persons: (See Annex 2).
112.The number of women judges has increased in the country. If only 65 (12,3%) out of 529 judges were women, as of December of 2018, this number has reached 86 (almost 15%) out of total number of judges as 578. Among women judges, 60 are judges of courts of first instance, 17 women judges are working at the courts of appeal, while 7 of them are members of the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court has 2 women judges out of 9.
113.The National Council of Youth Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan that unites 128 youth organizations has a chairwoman.
114.The vice president of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan is woman.
115.The Law on Public Participation was adopted in 2014. It has made compulsory to establish public councils attached to relevant institutions. In this regard, the elections to the Public Council under SCFWCA have taken place in May 2017 (a woman was elected the chair of the said Council). 9 NGOs (6 of them are headed by women) were also elected to the Council as members. The Public Council plays an essential role in developing and improving draft laws in various areas, ensuring public supervision, adopting decisions to protect women’s and children’s rights and organizing more effectively relevant issues. The members of the Public Council study action plans of SCFWCA and submit their proposals. It can retrieve any information about financial expenditures.
116.In the course of 2018, SCFWCA has organized the Women Leaders’ Meetings with upper classes schoolchildren (X–XI years) at secondary schools. The aim of these meetings was to enable women to share their experiences of participating in public, political, social, cultural and scientific areas of the country and provide valuable recommendations.
117.Sex and age aggregated data of civil servants as of the 1st of January 2018 (see Annex 3).
118.The Milli Majlis is the State authority that ensures the legislative power in the Republic of Azerbaijan. One Chamber Parliament has 125 deputies (currently, 20 of them are women). Deputies are elected via majority voted system by free, individual and secret voting on the basis of universal, equal and direct voting right. Each member of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan is elected for 5 years. Each convocation of the Milli Majlis is put on elections once per five years on the first Sunday of November. It holds its two consecutive spring and autumn sessions per year.
Information relating to paragraph 28 and 29 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 10 of the Convention)
119.According to the Law on Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, general secondary education is compulsory in Azerbaijan. In recent years, the important qualitative changes have taken place in number of girls involved in compulsory education and graduated from general secondary schools. The problems seen in their school attendance have been mainly addressed.
120.According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 3 May 2019, tuition fees of persons with I and II grade of disabilities and children under 18 with disabilities with are covered by the State funds.
121.To prevent the cases of early marriage, young girls are encouraged to take various professions. Local education management offices, law enforcement agencies and local executive authorities conduct a regular awareness work jointly with parents to promote their admission to the vocational education schools as they complete their compulsory studies in secondary schools. Furthermore, local healthcare facilities and relevant NGOs undertake awareness raising measures in secondary schools to prevent early marriages. There are the lessons where schoolchildren and parents are provided detailed information about reproductive health, medical, social and psychological consequences of early marriage. They are told that the drop-outs of young girls from schools due to a marriage in early age deprive them from a right of being integrated into the society.
122.Today, women are more numerous both among teachers and students at the national educational institutions. Thus, 79% of all teachers at secondary education are women while the number of young girls reaches 47% among students. These figures in vocational education are 69% and 33%, in colleges it is equal to 78% and 65,6%, and in higher education are 53,5% and 49,5% accordingly. The total number of students sent for studying abroad on the basis of the State Program for Studying Abroad is 3558. 30% of that number are girls.
123.There is also an increasing number of young girls in accordance with statistical data of last five years on students of bachelor’s degree in higher educational institutions. Thus, during the academic years of 2013–2014, young girls have had 50,0% (16940) of students; it was 51,4% (16530) in 2014–2015, it was 51,6% (15725) in 2015–2016, it was 50,2% (18898) in 2016–2017, it was 49,6% (20768) in 2017–2018.
124.50% of the students enrolled to the bachelor studies in 2014 were girls; 51,4% in 2015, 51,6% in 2016, 50,2% in 2017 and 49,6% in 2018.
125.Also, the increasing number of girls in master’s degree studies of higher educational institutions is observed in the country. During the academic years of 2013–2014, the number of girls reached 53,9% among the total number of students as 12651; 54,8% out of 12253 students in 2014–2015, 54,3% out of 11444 students in 2015–2016; 53,8% out of 12541 students in 2016–2017; and 54% out of 13442 students in 2017–2018.
126.The number of young girls enrolled to the master degree studies is as follows: 2937 (60,4%) in 2013–2014 academic years, 2885 (59,8%) in 2014–2015 academic years, 3123 (64,5%) in 2015–2016 academic years, 3492 (55,6%) in 2016–2017 academic years and 3547 (55,5%) in 2017–2018 academic years.
127.Women are also broadly present in the area of science in Azerbaijan. 54% of students in master course, 51% of PhDs lecturing at higher educational institutions and 46% of Doctor of Science are women. Currently, 1215 (56%) out of 2168 doctoral candidates are women. Gender analysis of scientific titles over various scientific fields: (see Annex 4)
128.The Introduction to the Gender course is taught in all faculties of the Universities to increase knowledge on gender issues among students of higher educational institutions. The Baku State University and the Western Caspian University have the chairs of Gender and Applied Psychology. As the outcome of lecturing of the Introduction to the Gender in all faculties of the Universities, 17989 students at bachelor’s degree of the Universities receive scientific knowledge on gender issues.
129.The gender issues are also inserted into the curricula of the teachers’ and educational specialists’ qualification courses. At the same time, the qualification courses of pedagogical specialists lecture also the gender issues.
130.In this context, according to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Social Protection of Children that Lost Parents and Deprived of Parental Care, children who lost their parents and deprived of parental care, including persons equivalent to them, have the opportunity to get their tuition fees covered by the State funds in State, municipal and private higher and secondary educational institutions during all period of their paid education process. It extends the same opportunity for young girls deprived of parental care to get higher and secondary education.
131.According to the change made to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan 337‑VQD dated 14 October 2016, tuition fees of mentioned persons are covered by the State budget also in the master’s degree studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.
132.The Government has, accordingly, undertaken concrete measures to fight widely circulated stereotypes and encourage young girls and women to study and acquire professional skills in non-traditional fields, and it opens up possibilities for them to get employed in developing areas of the economy. The meetings between women that gained successes in business and scientific areas, including also female MPs and young girls studying at secondary, vocational, professional and higher educational institutions and those employed ones, impact on the leadership skills of young persons and the formation of their career plans.
133.The equal enrolment criteria are defined for women and men in vocational education without any discrimination in profession selection. Starting from the years of 2016–2017, the acceptance of documents of all those wishing to get a vocational education is done at the ASAN Service Centers of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
134.Public awareness campaigns are organized regularly to inform the society about the contribution of educated women and ways of increasing their employment and presence in social and public life. The intense work is done with media. In order to raise public awareness about the access to education and new professions opportunities opening in this area, vocational education schools organize ‘open doors’ days for parents and employers. At the same time, as the integral part of professional orientation and promotion activities, brochures and booklets are printed and distributed in various events (such as exhibitions, seminar, informational tours etc.).
135.Over recent years, the share of women among heads of educational institutions is increasing. Currently, 6 rectors (13%), 37 vice rectors (21%), 15 college directors (28%), 36 deputy directors (31%), 11 directors of vocational education schools (13%), 40 deputy directors (45%), 1244 directors of secondary schools (33%) and 3965 deputy directors (54%) are women.
136.During the schooling years of 2014–2015, 15348 (85%) out of 17962 persons applying to the Teachers’ Enrolment Contest (TEC) were women. 1420 of women have passed the Contest and appointed as teachers to selected schools in accordance with their professional affiliation. The schooling years of 2016–2017 had 31779 applicants, and 23411 (73%) out of that number were women. 1905 of female applicants have passed the Contest and started to work as teachers at the schools they have selected in accordance with their profession. The number of applicants in the schooling years of 2017–2018 has reached 50697 persons out of which 42585 (84%) were women. In the end, 6765 women were appointed to the schools.
137.The gender issues are reflected in the curricula adopted by the Professional Development Institute of Education Specialists. During the years of 2013–2018, 90263 teachers have passed the training in total. 70% of that number were women.
138.We would like to add that up to 130 female specialists have taken part in the training courses organized by HR Department on effective communication, problem resolution, ethic conduct rules and fight against corruption.
139.At the same time, before publication, textbooks are evaluated against various criteria, including one of main criteria such as ‘a sensitive approach to gender, race, ethnicity and religion’. In last 5 years, a particular attention is paid to reflect opinions and recommendations related to the textbooks. Special consultants are involved in these activities.
140.The standards that cover the major part of SDGs and its targets are defined in educational contents for various topics taught in secondary education institutions. Currently, 106 out of 169 targets of 17 SDGs are considered in 176 standards set for the overall educational system. These standards cover classes from III to XI years and 10 disciplines (natural sciences, geography, biology, general history, history of Azerbaijan, chemistry, math, IT, Technologies, pre-military service skills for young persons).
141.The number of students studying in bachelor degree at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 5); the number of students enrolled to the bachelor degree at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 6); the number of students graduated with bachelor degree from higher educational institutions: (see Annex 7); the number of students studying in master degree at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 8); the number of students enrolled to the master degree at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 9); the number of students graduated with master degree from higher educational institutions(see Annex 10 )
142.Colleges. The number of students studying in colleges (see Annex 11); the number of students enrolled in colleges: (see Annex 12); the number of students graduated from colleges: (see Annex 13).
143.Pedagogical staff. The number of pedagogical staff at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 14); the number of pedagogical staff at colleges: (see Annex 15). Supporting staff – the number of supporting staff at higher educational institutions: (see Annex 16); the number of supporting staff at colleges: (see Annex 17).
144.Secondary schools. The number of schoolchildren studying at secondary educational institutions: (see Annex 18).
145.The number of teachers at secondary educational institutions: (see Annex 19) and the number of researchers by area of science in early 2018 (total number, sex, by persons and %) (see Annex 20).
146.Scientific title of academic advisers that lead candidates to obtain PhD (see Annex 21).
147.Age group classification of persons studying on the basis of doctoral programs in early 2018 (total number, sex, by persons and %) (see Annex 22).
148.The Professional Development Institute of Education Specialists has translated into Azerbaijani all lessons modules of the Council of Europe’s Compasito: A Manual on Human Rights Education for Children (42 copies) and 13 Notions Definitions and placed it on the website (http://www.tipii.edu.az/az/article/91-quot-kompasito-quot-dars-icmallari).These materials are dedicated to the topics on Discrimination, Education and Recreation, Equality of the Sexes, Family and Alternative Care. It is used in all relevant curricula of qualification courses. Also, teachers are encouraged developed learning modules.
149.Lectures and speeches elaborated on the basis of the provisions of the Beijing Platform for Action, including the Introduction to the Gender discipline in law and other faculties of the Baku State University contributes to the promotion of gender notions, the formation of new approaches to the gender theory, the improvement of gender relations and its prospective development. At the same time, practical classes are held on regular basis for students and master’s degree students of the Baku State University and the Azerbaijani University of Languages. They are lectured and presented the information about the Activities of Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsperson) of the Republic of Azerbaijan in areas of protection of women’s rights and gender equality.
150.Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Azerbaijan and employees of her Office constantly give lectures on human rights for students and cadets of the State Management Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the ADA University, the Police Academy, the Academy of Justice and military educational schools.
151.The State Council for the Support of NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has implemented following projects in educational facilities in areas of gender equality and protection of women’s rights:
•In 2016, the grants in the amount of AZN132,000 are allocated for 15 project proposals. 3725 school teenagers have benefited from the outcomes of implementation of those projects;
•In 2017, 12 projects are funded by the amount of AZN82,000. The outcomes of these projects were beneficial for 2,100 schoolchildren;
•In 2018, the amount of AZN169,000 is allocated to 24 projects. The outcomes of the projects were useful for 5,670 schoolchildren.
Information relating to paragraph 30 and 31 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 11 of the Convention)
152.According to Article 12 of the Code of Labor of the Republic of Azerbaijan that entered into force on 1 July 1999, an employer shall have the following obligations: hiring, promoting career, increasing professional skills, enabling the learning of new profession, exhibiting equal treatment and create equal opportunities for employees while increasing their professional qualification, evaluating the quality of work and dismissing them notwithstanding their gender, creating equal working conditions for employees performing the same job notwithstanding their gender, do not apply differing disciplinary actions in relation to the employees for the same violation and undertake necessary measures to prevent sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.
153.Part I of Article 16 of the said Code stipulates that it is strictly forbidden in working relationship to make any discrimination among employees, define directly or indirectly privileges and exemptions, and restrict the rights on the basis of citizenship, sex, race, religion, nationality, language, place of residence, property status, public and social origins, age, family status, convictions, political views, membership to trade unions or other public unions, status of service, and other factors not related to the working skills, professionalism and work outcomes of employees.
154.According to Article 240, it is inadmissible to reject the conclusion of labor contract with a woman for the reason of her pregnancy or her child aged below 3. Also, Articles 79, 91, 130, 243 and 244 of the Code envisage following guarantees:
•The termination of a working contract by the employer is prohibited in relation to women with pregnancy and also, having a child below 3 once they have the current job as the only income source and the employee that up bring a child aged below the school age on their own only;
•To set a shortened working hour not exceeding 36 hours while paying the full salary amount for a woman with pregnancy, a woman with a child aged below 18 months and a parent that up brings on his/her own a child aged below 3;
•Decrease production or service volume for women with pregnancy in accordance with a medical opinion or transfer them to a less heavy work that excludes the impact of hazardous production factors;
•Transfer women to a less heavy work by retaining their working responsibilities until their child reaches 18 months of age because of complications in feeding or breastfeeding of a child;
•Retain average salary amount equivalent to their main responsibilities after they are transferred to a less heavy work;
•It is prohibited to decrease the salary of women because of their pregnancy or breastfeeding;
•In addition to the free time given to the women with a child aged below 18 months and the general lunch break, presuming also each of break time given for feeding (breastfeeding) of a child should last for at least 30 minutes, such women should be given another break time for each 3 hours while these break time periods will be included in the working hours and average salary will be retained;
•To set an incomplete working day or an incomplete working week with paid salary in case when women with pregnancy and a child aged under 14 or women that take care after an ill member of the family;
•To retain average salary for the days when women with pregnancy or women that have child aged below 3 pass in- and out-patient checkup for themselves or a child and for the days when they visit a doctor;
•The Code defines also the right of partial paid social vacation and the rules of its use.
155.Setting legal, economic and organizational basis of the State policies in area of employment and defining the State guarantees in the employment for citizens and the social protection of unemployed persons, Article 8.0.4 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Employment stipulates that one of main obligations of the State in area of employment is to ensure equal opportunities for all person to enjoy the right to choose freely their labor and employment notwithstanding race, ethnic background, religion, language, sex, health disabilities (except the cases when their limited abilities complicate the performance), marital status, public and social origins, place of residence, property status, convictions and affiliation to political parties, trade unions and other public organizations.
156.According to the data of the State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the number of civil servants in the country was equal to 29,302 for the 1st of January 2018. Their distribution in civil service is as follows: from the highest grade to the 3rd grade is 1313; from the 4th grade to the 7th grade – 22,267. The number of women holding administrative positions in civil service is as follows: from the highest grade to the 3rd grade is 402 (30,6%); from the 4th grade to the 7th grade – 4925 (22,12%). In accordance with the legislation in force, the payment for labor in civil service is done in line with the level of professionalism and its degree of complication notwithstanding the gender.
157.According to the data of the State Statistical Committee, the share of economically active women in the Republic of Azerbaijan was 48,3% in 2017 while men had the level of 51,2%. The share of men in number of employed population is also higher than women, and accordingly, it is 48,3% (24,496) of men and 27,6% (13,985) of women.
158.The gender distribution analysis of employed population shows that the share of women working in the area of education was 47,6% in 2017, this indicator in the area of healthcare and social services was 53,0% and 26,2% in recreation, entertainment and arts.
159.Average monthly nominal salary was AZN528.2 (approximately USD311) in 2017. The highest indicator of average monthly salary among women was in upstream industries (AZN1591,6 – approximately USD937) and in financial and insurance sector (AZN1008,5 – approximately USD595).
160.For the 1st of December 2018, the employment service agencies have reported that 30,400 persons are given the official status of unemployed in the country; 38.1% out of that number are women. In the course of recent years, the share of women is dropped among unemployed people. It was 51,6% in 2005 by decreasing down to 36,3% in 2017.
161.42,895 families comprising 172,000 members in total have received a targeted State social assistance by the end of 2018. 53,43% of family members or 91,381 persons receiving a targeted State social assistance are women while 47,57% or 79,639 are men. Out of total number, 54,52% or 933,232 persons are children aged under 18.
162.62,188 persons have received the stipends of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in III Semester of 2018. 38,58% or 21,503 persons out of that number are women while 65,42% or 40,685 are men.
163.The public awareness measures are also undertaken to ensure more employment. Several of such measures are given below.
164.In order to build opportunities and skills for our women and ensure their effective activities, many public awareness measures are undertaken in 11 districts. During 2015–2018, 1245 women were briefed on how to improve their skills. The tailoring plant was restored in Ismayilli on the initiative of the Center of Children’s and Families’ Support that provided jobs for 54 women from vulnerable families. In general, 842 women have applied for job to 11 Support Centers in this period, and 339 out of that number have obtained jobs. 85 of them were invited to the vocational education courses while others were directed to the employment centers. Women’s Resource Centers run its activities in the districts of Sabirabad and Ismayilli. 650 women have benefited from those resources.
165.In the framework of the project implemented jointly by UNDP and UNFPA in 2017 to generally analyze and determine positive and negative sides in how women benefit from economic and employment benefits in private sector, a poll on ‘Impediments for Women in Azerbaijan in their Participation in Economic Life’ was conducted with focus groups selected from districts and cities. This poll aimed at supporting businesses of private sector to ensure descent jobs for unemployed women living in districts and help them to set up their own business, has brought answers to the questions put by respondents in relation to the problems they face in finding jobs, relevant solutions and existing prospective as well as the equality in labor rights between women and men.
166.In 2017, the First Step in Career motivational training was organized by SCFWCA to help young girls living in districts not to drop out from schools and master professional skills needed in the future.
167.On the basis of the project on ‘Strengthening Employment Opportunities and Professional Qualifications of Refugee and IDP girls with Incomplete Education’ implemented by SCFWCA in collaboration with UNESCO, the training courses were organized to increase the level of knowledge in various areas (such as babysitters, tailors, IT specialists, modern technologies users, raising awareness on women’s rights etc.) for 70 women in 2 districts.
168.Distribution of employed women by level of education, by thousands of persons (see Annex 23). Unemployed women by level of education, by thousands of persons (see Annex 24)
169.In March 2019, the WoWoman in ME Program was implemented in Guba and Masally with the support of the US Embassy in Azerbaijan and the ASAN Volunteers. Girls from Guba and Masally attending the courses had an opportunity not only to learn the entrepreneurship program based on the Stanford University program, elaborate the ways of developing a design thinking, master a team working culture and implement projects, but also to win AZN500. In this way, they got a chance to be a WoWoman representative in their districts.
170.In February 2019, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the United Nations Development Program and the UNFPA have signed two annual programs aimed at improving lifestyle of almost 3000 women with disabilities and Nagorno Karabakh war veterans. The project envisages creating a Virtual Laboratory (V-Laboratory) for Skills Development and Training for women with disabilities and war veterans to deepen their knowledge and broaden their information and employment opportunities opened up via modern ITC for vulnerable strata of the population. In order to promote the social integration of persons with disabilities and the inclusion into the society as a whole, the pilot art school is being created in Baku. This will be a place where women and war veterans with or without disabilities are offered a wider platform in such areas as innovations, startups and business development. A new methodology is underway in the framework of this project to bridge the gaps related to the creation of data base and ensure more accurate collection of data on persons with disabilities with disaggregated sex and age analysis. Indeed, this methodology with its application mechanisms will be later offered to relevant public agencies while elaborating national monitoring and statistical reviews. Covering the city of Baku, the districts of Salyan and Masally, the project is implemented in close cooperation with SCFWCA and the State Statistical Committee. Local authorities, employers from both public and private sectors, mass media, communities and NGOs are in close cooperation to implement successfully the project.
171.On 12 February 2019, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population and UNFPA have signed the project On Building Society for All Ages: Promotion of Prosperity for Elderly in Azerbaijan via Active Ageing. This project that will last until 2021 will contribute to bettering the livelihood of elderly and is aimed at promoting the active ageing process. To attain this goal, several activities are conducted in a very coordinated way to prepare high quality data, raise public awareness on ageing issues and undertake relevant pilot measures aimed at supporting elderly to have a healthy and independent lifestyle via provision of shared social services. The project covers persons related to the age group of 65 and higher.
172.The State Council for the Support of NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has organized tours to tourism districts to better organize a leisure time of children to enable them to have a direct contact with the Nature and benefit from artistic programs. Children living in streets are invited to the special group of music and dance. Various actions have taken place for the implementation of awareness measures against children’s drop-outs from the school, the prevention of violation of the children’s rights and the creation of shelter for children deprived from parental care.
173.It should be noted that currently, the Government of Azerbaijan increases its efforts to improve the public support to the preschool education. In 2014, private pre‑school educational institutions were exempted from tax payment for 10 years. In February 2018, AZN19,577 million were allocated to construct new preschool educational institutions in 15 cities and districts on the basis of the Decree signed by the head of State. The number of preschool educational facilities is one thousand seven hundred fifty eight (1758) for early 2018. There are one thousand sixty five (1065) such institutions in urban areas and seven hundred twenty (720) in rural places. The number of children attending preschool educational facilities is one hundred twenty four thousand two hundred (124,200). The number of children for each 100 places is eighty eight (88). For early 2018, the coverage of children by preschool educational institutions is fifteen point one (15,1) percent in relation to the overall number of children aged between 1 and 5. In comparison with 2006, this figure is lower by four point five (4,5) % and zero point nine (0.9) % more in relation to 2017. The number of children aged between 2 and 5 is six hundred seventy five thousand six hundred (675,600) in the country.
Information relating to paragraph 32 and 33 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 12 of the Convention)
174.In order to prevent maternal and neonatal mortality cases, it is imperative to enable women to see a doctor, but also ensure the early registration (until 12 weeks) of pregnant women, maintain intergenetic interval in using family planning methods, raise motivation of pregnant women and families and conduct protocol based early registration of pregnant women. The constant work is underway in this area. The seminars on the application of the Methodology of Studying the Mortality Free Pregnancy Complications and Gynecology Consequences aimed at increasing maternal and children’s health and decreasing their mortality are organized at the Public Health and Reforms Center of the Ministry of Health with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). To provide the technical assistance to have a wider application of the Methodology of Studying the Mortality Free Pregnancy Complications in Gynecology in Azerbaijan, Mrs. GuntaLazdane, head of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program of WHO Regional Office for Europe and Mr. SteilianHodorogea were invited to the country.
175.Maternal mortality (see Annex 25)
176.It is also important to organize lectures to increase the knowledge of teenagers about the laws of reproductive health, the rules related to family life and the consequences of early marriage. The constant work is underway in this area. The Reproductive Health Portal is developed on www.isim.az website to raise the public awareness of the population. The Center of Public Health and Reforms has developed a training curriculum on the Reproductive Health of Teenagers jointly with the specialists of the Ministry of Education. The Center for Public Health and Reforms has hosted a training for trainers on reproductive health. The biology and natural sciences teachers of the secondary schools in Baku have participated at the training courses. The main topic of the training was related to the reproductive health and family planning. Guided by the Teen STAR Program, Mrs. Hanna Klaus and Mrs. Mary Lou Reid, experts of the Washington Family Planning Center have led this training. Until today, the Teen STAR Program is realized in over 30 countries, including Europe, North and South Americas, Asia and Africa. The event has become possible on the initiative of Mrs. Nancy Russell, representative of the Washington Family Planning Center and with the support of the Center for Public Health and Reforms. The work is sustainable in this area.
177.To reduce the cases of termination of unwanted pregnancy, it is important to use and list the medicine that do not harm the body of a woman (and particular, the representatives of the groups in need of social protection and the groups of risks).
178.Use of contraceptives (see Annex 26)
179.The work is envisaged to ensure the PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) Program and a wider scope of relevant services particularly in rural areas. Its implementation is monitored twice per year by the Ministry of Health. In this connection, pregnant women put under observation by medical services during birth are invited to pass HIV check-up and in case positive, they are provided with anti-retrovirus therapy. Likewise, HIV infected women of reproductive age are monitored by the Ministry of Health for a pregnancy once they pass a general medical examination. They are given relevant recommendations and seconded to benefit from childbirth services.
180.Pregnant women pass a compulsory HIV express test when they apply for a child delivery. In case positive, they start to administer pre-delivery anti-retrovirus medicine. For this purpose, the stocks of antiretroviral drugs are created at the Perinatal Center and the National Perinatal Center. In case of urgent child delivery and HIV positive cases, the antiretroviral medicine is provided to women on child delivery notwithstanding the place of child delivery. As a result of such approach, no HIV infected newly borns of HIV infected mothers are observed in last 3 years. Currently, the preparation is underway to enter into the list of countries that are successful in preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to a child.
181.Wider public awareness work is done on constant basis to eliminate the public stigma of being infected with HIV. Such events comprise the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims, 1 December – World AIDS Day, and European and National HIV Testing Weeks attract a big number of people. Furthermore, the National AIDS Fight Center attaches a particular importance to the awareness events organized by the Center for Public Health and Reforms, and therefore, it inserts the issue of inadmissibility of stigma and discrimination into the program of public awareness actions and the curricula of training courses with a view to the public significance of such problem.
182.On 3–4 April 2018, the Regional Summit Enriching Our Future, aimed at improving the health of women and children took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan. During two days conference, the participants had active discussions and reviewed the work to be done in one year. The practice of other countries in this area is studied by our country.
Information relating to paragraph 34 and 35 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 13 of the Convention)
183.No limitation is applied for women in their entrepreneurial activities by the national legislation, and at the same time, special privileges and exemptions are defined in relation to women. Entrepreneurs enjoy equal opportunities in implementing their rights without setting any sexual discrimination and preference in issues ranging from the State registration of entrepreneurial activities to issuance of licenses and permits, from tax obligations and audits to the restoration of violated rights etc.
184.Various encouraging and promotional events are organized in the Republic of Azerbaijan for the economic empowerment of women. The Government undertakes various measures to ensure the access of women to resources and opportunities, allocate privileged loans to start up a business, enable household women to start her business.
185.In order to improve supporting mechanisms for the development of entrepreneurship, establish new production, processing and infrastructure enterprises based on innovative technologies in non-oil sector, finance export operations, speed up investment making in real sector and broaden the access of private sector actors to financial resources, the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan which reports to the Ministry of Economy is created as a public law person on the basis of the Decree dated 31 July 2018 signed by the President of Azerbaijan On Improvement the State Support Mechanism for the Development of Entrepreneurship in the Republic of Azerbaijan by replacing the abolished National Fund for Entrepreneurship Assistance. This Decree has also approved the Rules on Use of Finances of the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan. To use more effectively the privileged loans, the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation allocates loans of which the annual interest rate is reduced from 6% to 5%. At the same time, the limits of loans with average amount are changed by the said Rules by raising it from AZN50,001 (approximately USD29,473) to AZN1,000,000 (approximately USD589,451). The introduction of the new Rules will open up possibilities for wider use of the State support mechanisms to the private sector to ensure access of entrepreneurs to the privileged financial resources, broaden non-oil production and export, reduce production costs and product net value, and create new areas of production. The Department for Analysis and Risk Management is created within the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It will make analysis and conduct a research on constant basis to use effectively the funds. These changes will also create additional opportunities to study international practice and innovative approach to provide more useful proposals and recommendations to the entrepreneurs and broaden public awareness campaigns.
186.In general, the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan has allocated 1039,1 million manat (approximately USD612,5 million) to 16,232 entrepreneurs in 2014–2018 as privileged loans, including AZN57,6 million (approximately USD33,9 million) to 2117 businesses owned by women. At the expense of privileged loans allocated to the women’s lead business in this period, 4640 new jobs are supposed to be created. Also, the Fund has provided AZN9.2 million (approximately USD5,4 million) as privileged loans to 109 female entrepreneurs in 2018. These privileged loans will create an opportunity to open 505 new jobs. The table given below presents the data on privileged loans by years allocated by the Fund. (see Annex 27)
187.As the integral part of economic policies in the Republic of Azerbaijan, comprehensive measures are consistently undertaken to develop the entrepreneurship. While studying continuously the international practice in this area, the activities are implemented to develop the relations between the State and entrepreneurs and improve the mechanisms of the State support to businesspeople.
188.In the framework of collaboration between the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the relevant Ministry of Germany, 384 local entrepreneursand managers (including 79 women entrepreneurs) have been seconded to Germany to pass 1 month long qualification training on the Economic Cooperation in 2009–2018 on the basis of the Azerbaijani – German Joint Program to Raise Qualifications of Managers in Business Circles of Azerbaijan organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Baku Business Training Center.
189.The Strategic Roadmap on Production of Consumer Goods at the level of small and medium entrepreneurship in the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by the Decree 1138 dated 6 December 2016 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan defines the development of women’s entrepreneurial activities as one of priorities and envisages the implementation of following measures:
•Development of stimulating mechanisms for development of women’s entrepreneurship (it envisages providing tools that will help to set up loans, taxation and other privileges for women entrepreneurs. While creating such mechanisms, the particular attention is to be especially paid to employment issues of women in rural places);
•Development of information support to women entrepreneurship (it is envisaged to organize awareness events in this area such as meetings, TV programs, internet etc.);
•Creation of women business incubators;
•Establishment of women entrepreneurs’ association and professional organizations.
190.As a result of implementation of these priorities, a more favorable environment for women’s entrepreneurial activities is created in the country while the number of women in small and medium entrepreneurship is rising. These activities will also impact on positively on the share of women in employment indicators.
191.The Decree 865 of 24 April 2013 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has approved the Sample Statutes of Industrial Parks regulating issues of creation, management of industrial parks by the State and business activities implemented in those parks. In accordance with the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Law on Customs Tariffs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, following the registration, residents of industrial parks are exempted for the period of 7 years of income tax, property tax, land tax, and VAT and customs duties of all equipment and technological means imported for the production reasons. According to Article 102.1.21 of the Code of Taxes, incomes generated by natural persons that run entrepreneurial activities without establishing a legal person and being a resident of industrial or technologies parks created on the basis of relevant executive power authorities are exempted from income tax for the period of 7 years starting from the year of their registration in industrial and technologies park in accordance with the legislation (except the income tax paid from the salary). At the same time, the investment promotion mechanisms are created in accordance with the Decree 745 of 18 January 2016 on Additional Measures for Investments Promotion signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to support the creation of new industrial enterprises and attract investments to local investment areas. It is also aimed at creation of favorable climate granting tax and customs privileges to legal persons and individual entrepreneurs in area of industrial production. Women benefit in particular of this support to develop their businesses.
192.ABAD, a public law person reporting to the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN Service) is established by the Decree of 23 September 2016 of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the said Decree, ABAD (Easy Support to Family Business) Centers are created to implement socially biased projects to support the active participation of citizens in the social and economic development of the Republic of Azerbaijan, expand small and medium entrepreneurship, increase the employment level of the population and form competitive family businesses. The ABAD Centers implement the projects of support to family business in area of applied arts and agriculture. They also provide business planning, marketing, branding and design, financial and accountability and legal assistance services to family households. The certification, logistics and sales of produced goods are also organized by ABAD on one shop window principle. Besides the logo of a family producing those goods in the framework of project, it bears also the sign saying that the product is produced under the control of ABAD.
193.On 12 February 2019, the Project on Improving the Rights and Livelihoods of Women with Disabilities and Nagorno Karabakh War Veterans was prepared jointly with UN Development Program and UNFPA to ensure the social rights of women with disabilities and Nagorno Karabakh war veterans and increase their employment opportunities.
194.To help women to run entrepreneurial activities, 22 women were invited to the Entrepreneurship Basics courses organized by the State Employment Service under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2018.
195.In 2018, 7267 unemployed citizens and job seekers were covered by the Self‑Employment Program. 1309 out of that number are women.
196.In 2018, district (city) employment centers of the State Employment Service under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan have involved 1447 women for vocational education courses.
Information relating to paragraph 36 and 37 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5 (in accordance with Article 14 of the Convention)
197.On January 29, 2019, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has signed the Decree on Approval of the State Program for Social and Economic Development in 2019–2023 in the regions. The Decree is signed to continue the work done in area of social and economic development of the regions, and particularly rural areas, improve further infrastructure and social services, increase employment of the population in regions and their welfare.
198.The activities are implemented in the Republic of Azerbaijan to make communities more active in the development of rural areas and involve fully women into economic processes. Besides creating equal opportunities for women and men in villages, many steps are made to solve the problems faced by rural women. Starting from 2011, SCFWCA and the United Nations Development Program are implementing the technical support project aimed at Promoting the Participation of Women Living in Rural Areas and Regions in Economic and Social Life. The aim of the project is to ensure the active participation of women and youth from rural areas and districts in economic life and increase economic opportunities and skills for entrepreneurial activities and employment. In the framework of the project, in general, during years of 2015–2018, 8 Women Resource Center were created in Sabirabad, Salyan, Neftchala, Masally, Bilasuvar, Zagatala, Gusar and Khazar district of Baku. In 2015–2018, 5500 women and young people have participated at trainings and events. In this period, over 300 rural women have taken part at the training of ‘Start Your Business and Develop’ based on ILO methodology. As the outcome of these training courses, 102 businesses were established to provide additional 50 jobs. Labor fairs were also organized across the country.
199.During 2015–2018, 494 women have obtained leasing based agricultural machines on the basis of contracts signed. The Agricultural Loan and Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture has allocated privileged loans in the amount of AZN10983,5 (approximately USD6474,2) to 169 entrepreneurs in total working in agriculture area of 46 districts to develop more the agriculture by 31 December 2018. AZN772,5 thousand (approximately USD455,3 thousand) of that amount is provided to 13 women entrepreneurs. For the gardening area of women entrepreneurs, 2 of them have received the loans of AZN65,0 thousand (approximately USD38,314), 2persons – AZN210,0 thousand (approximately USD123,784) for plant cultivation, 8 women – AZN399,5 thousand (approximately USD235,485) in cattle breeding and 1woman – AZN98,0 thousand (approximately USD57,766) for fruit growing. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture undertakes consistently the awareness measures in districts in area of management of agricultural machines. As a new project of the Ministry of Agriculture, AMAL (this project of Increasing Agricultural Employment was launched on 30 October 2018) has the main objective which is to support the improvement of social status and help the implementation of business ideas of young people from IDP families and young women that live in districts and wish to work in area of agriculture. In the framework of project, the Young Farmers Program and the Vocational Education Program in Agriculture are implemented to help young people to master skills and get knowledge necessary to increase their employment opportunities and organize relevant training to apply technological innovations. At the first stage, the group of future entrepreneurs will pass seminars on how to form business ideas and innovations, develop a business plan and build a financial model. Furthermore, young entrepreneurs will be allocated the subsidized loans in the maximum amount of AZN40 thousand (approximately USD23,578) for 5 year period. Also, they will be aided to get access to market to sell their products.
200.Starting from 11 July 2018, Coca-Cola, ASAN volunteers and the Azerbaijani University of Tourism and Management have launched the project of ‘Successful Woman, Successful Future to support initiatives of women in the area of tourism. This project has covered the cities of Gabala, Ganja and Masally and neighboring districts known by its tourism potential in Azerbaijan. The aim of project to involve women living in those districts into tourism, encourage them to establish a tourism business and support the State tourism policies and business initiatives in area of tourism.
201.In the framework of the Azerbaijani Rural Investment Project (ARIP) implemented by the State Agency for Agricultural Projects and Loans Management under the Ministry of Agriculture, almost 100 women have participated at the project in 2018 and new businesses were established. They are allocated five year long loans in the amount of AZN5,000 (approximately USD2,947). This project has organized zonal gender workshops in districts, and each event has attracted 100 women from 44 communities into training. The role of women played in community development was the topic of discussions at such workshops. A conference dedicated to leader women is organized where the participants have made various presentations. According to the information provided by the State Service for Management of Agricultural Projects and Loans, the Azerbaijani Rural Investment Project has used the funds in the amount of 140 million USD and such projects serve to better the life of rural population of up to 3,6 million people and increase their social well-being. In the framework of project, 200 micro projects, including restoration of auxiliary rural roads, potable water supply, exhibition centers, renovation projects and creation of business incubators have been implemented successfully.
202.In the framework of the FAO Project of Capacity Development Support to Rural Women on the Socio-Economic and Gender Aspects of Sustainable Rural Development, the training courses have taken place in the city of Baku on 5–8 April 2016. 12 representatives from the Guba Regional Agricultural Scientific and Information Counseling Center (GRASIC), 9 members of the Salyan GRASIC and 9 members of the Ganja GRASIC and 3 representatives from the head office of the Ministry of Agriculture joined 33 consultants (48% women and 52% men) have participated at this training. The participants were lectured on how to analyze various gender activities and the practical tools on evaluation of situation in rural areas. The training became a good opportunity to discuss various issues related to gender problems in providing agricultural counseling services. In the framework of the project, 45 rural women have participated at the training dedicated to the Small Processing of Dairy Products and Development of Cattle Breeding in Azerbaijan organized in 3 pilot districts in May of 2016. To provide more opportunities for the participation of women, training courses have taken place in each of Salyan, Guba and Samukh districts. 7 persons from Turkey have visited Azerbaijan to take part at the final seminar of the project organized on 29 June 2016, and informed about their activities and the achievements attained in the framework of project. The booklet is elaborated and printed to provide to the public the information about the project and its results and raise public awareness. At the same time, the booklet On Basics of Production and Processing Technology of High Quality Milk and Dairy Products in Farms and Individual Farming and instructions on ToT were printed in 500 copies and distributed.
203.Starting from 2019, UN FAO implements the project of Agro Action Women (AFAG) to provide support to the development of female farmers. The main goal of the project is to increase technical skills of female farmers and ensuring access to the markets, to improve food security, socially inclusive rural development and sustainable livelihoods through rural women’s empowerment. Through the Projects technical support is being provided to strengthen gender sensitive rural advisory services. To support women’s self-organization and access to information networks. The budget of the project is almost USD800, 000.
204.The measures are also undertaken to help women living in remote and mountainous areas of the country and in territories of temporary living of IDPS to start their private businesses and farms. As a result, we observe an increasing number of female entrepreneurs in recent years.
205.To increase knowledge and skills of female entrepreneurs and inform them about those that have already started their activities, during the years of 2007–2018, Baku Business Training Center of the Ministry of Economy has organized 1227 training courses, seminars, round tables for newly formed entrepreneurs on ‘Elaboration of business plans and investments projects’, ‘Creation of Business Ideas’, ‘Start Your Business’, ‘Marketing’, ‘Management’. ‘Creation and development of brand Made in Azerbaijan’, ‘Development of Environmentally Friendly Agriculture’, ‘Insurance of Entrepreneurial Activities in Agriculture’ and others. 35,320 persons have attended these events. 9,160 out of that number were women entrepreneurs and those that have newly started business activities.
206.Also, the Baku Business Training Center and its representatives have organized 88 training courses, seminars, round tables and other events in Baku and districts with the participation of foreign and local experts in 2018. 2500 persons have participated at all those events. 570 out of that number were female entrepreneurs and women that have just started their entrepreneurial activities.
207.In the framework of collaboration between the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the relevant Ministry of Germany, 384 local entrepreneurs and managers (including 79 women entrepreneurs) have been seconded to Germany to pass 1 month long qualification training on the Economic Cooperation in 2009–2018 on the basis of the Azerbaijani – German Joint Program to Raise Qualifications of Managers in Business Circles of Azerbaijan organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Baku Business Training Center.
208.The Azerbaijani Female Entrepreneurs Development Association is created on 26 October 2017 with the support of the Ministry of Economy and on the initiative of entrepreneurs to play active role in further broadening of public – private partnership, coordinate the activities of entrepreneurs of production and export operations, expand the collaboration between them, reduce the dependence on import. 3 female business incubators are also established by the Ministry of Economy. It is organized in Guba – Khachmaz and Aran Regional Development Center and in the city of Baku.
209.At the same time, in May 2018, training and educational centers of the Gazelli Group LLC, the Baku Textile Factory and the Extreme Tourism Company have started their activities to ensure the start of pre-incubation stage in business incubators of Guba – Khachmaz Regional Development Center.
210.Free training courses are run in relevant areas for women that actively forward their initiatives at the training and education centers. 50 women with initiatives living in various administrative districts of western economic region and participating at the courses have studied various professions in 2 months and continue their efforts to organize businesses in those areas with the support of the Ministry of Economy and the Association of Women Entrepreneurs Development in Azerbaijan.
211.It should be noted that the areas particularly envisaged for women’s business incubators are carpet making, tailoring, design and craftsmanship, babysitters, pastry making, cosmetology, hair dressing and make up, ICT, tourism and others.
212.Furthermore, working fora are organized on regular basis by the Entrepreneurship Development Fund of the Ministry of Economy to stimulate more the development of entrepreneurship in districts and the settlements around the city of Baku. Entrepreneurs are lectured on the mechanisms of usage of privileged loans. Furthermore, the presentation of the investment projects to be funded in accordance with the economic potential of an administrative district where a training or an event is taking place. They discuss the issues on how to establish the working relationship with authorized representatives of relevant credit organizations and obtain a loan. At the same time, the proposals of entrepreneurs are studied duly. Such events analyze also the economic potential of all cities and districts of the country by setting priorities. Pilot investment projects prepared in line with priority areas and the options for privileged loans are presented to entrepreneurs.
213.At the same time, the Strategic Roadmap On Production of Consumer Goods at the level of small and medium entrepreneurship in the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by the Decree 1138 dated 6 December 2016 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan defines as one of its priorities to expand training and educational capacity of SMEs and speed up the process of applying a leading experience. As a part of the implementation of these priorities, until the year of 2020, at least 1000 SMEs will be able to pass special training courses. The said training courses are to be organized notwithstanding any gender factor.
214.Also, according to the Decree of 28 December 2017 On Further Improvement of Management in Small and Medium Entrepreneurship signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Agency for Development of Small and Medium Business with the status of a public law entity is created under the Ministry of Economy. The development of entrepreneurship among women is set as one of the primordial tasks in front of this Agency. The employment for women in rural area will be under particular attention.
215.The Azerbaijani Rural Women Association (ARWA) was established in 2018. The Rural Women Association is acting as a national network of the Women’s Development Groups. Currently, these organizational efforts boost further the women’s groups and open the way to form the new ones. This organization support business incubators and provide access to the official finance mechanisms.
216.On May 7, 2019, the State Agro Trade Company has started the project of Azerbaijani Women with Agricultural Activities (AFAG) jointly with UN FAO. The aim of project is to facilitate the access of women to the markets to sell their products, form female entrepreneurs that can build their businesses in agriculture, increase their knowledge in marketing and sales and help them to create their small production enterprises and greenhouses. This project will open up more opportunities of women’s access to markets, employment, information and resources. It will create the conditions to improve social and economic livelihoods of women.
Information relating to paragraph 38 and 39 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5) (in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention)
217.Several measures are undertaken by SCFWCA to foster women’s rights in the family and promote mutual respect. SCFWCA implements the Family Academy project since 2017 in collaboration with municipalities while noting the capacities of those institutions in places to increase the activeness and participation of women in the society and ensuring equality of men and women within a family as a support to the State family policies. In the framework of this project, various meetings were organized with municipalities where youth, women and particularly, young families and people with low social profile are provided useful information about important issues (particularly, issues on prevention of early marriages, responsibility of parents and others) within the society by sociology, psychology and law specialists. The is project has organized 17 events by raising awareness among 30,000 persons.
218.In the framework of the project ‘Say NO to Early Marriages’ in 2015–2016 to raise public awareness about consequences caused by early marriages and prevent early marriage cases, various events are organized with different segments of the society in the cities and remote villages. 2400 persons have taken part at those events.
219.Awareness project of ‘Our Strength is in Our Unity’ is implemented jointly with local executive authorities in cities and districts to promote family values and health lifestyle among members of the society in 2015–2016. It has envisaged 9 events covering 1200 persons.
220.During the year of 2018, awareness events are organized for students and teachers in colleges in the city of Baku and districts as a part of public awareness campaign to prevent early marriages and drop-out of young girls from schools. 600 persons have benefited from the events. It is envisaged to follow up these events in vocational schools located in the city of Baku and districts in 2019.
221.Starting from December 2018, the project of ‘Let’s Read with Family’ to attract the public attention to the reading, promote the culture of reading inside the family, spend rationally and manage properly the leisure time with the organizational support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Scientific Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 1,500 persons have participated at the project. At the same time, 3 Family Clubs are created in the framework of project.
222.During the years of 2015–2018, the large scale awareness campaigns covering 5,000 families in the Republic of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the International Family Day. In 2018, the information about long living families that had a long joint life for more than 60 years is collected in the Republic of Azerbaijan to develop the compilation about 111 long lasting exemplary families in 1000 copies to distribute among the population.
223.Starting from 2014, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and ‘the Promising Future’ Public Union are implementing the project of ‘Reproductive Health Learning at Secondary Schools for women and young girls in 11 districts. Training materials are developed in the framework of the said project jointly with additional trainings done for trainers. The training materials provide information about early marriages, dropouts and its consequences.
224.In the framework of the campaign of A Letter to the Family during the years of 2014–2018, over 100,000 letters promoting the prevention of early marriages are distributed in districts where 11 Child and Family Supporting Centers are located. It has also helped to prevent 32 cases of 38 early marriages. A relevant support is given to deal with the applications of defining the paternity in 6 cases.
225.In 2016, 3 criminal cases were launched on forced marriage of a woman. During the years of 2017–2018, no such fact was observed. The same actions in relation to minors have caused the start of 17 criminal cases in 2016 and 22 such criminal cases in 2017.
226.The Academy of Justice of the Ministry of Justice and the Baku State University have the legal services sections and legal clinics to provide a legal assistance to the vulnerable strata of the population such as pensioners, families, women from vulnerable families, refugees and IDPs and young students. The legal assistance is provided under the supervision of law specialists with higher education, lawyers and teachers of the Academy of Justice.
227.Item 2.5 of the Decree dated 22 February 2018 signed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Additional Measures Related to the Development of Lawyers Activities in the Republic of Azerbaijan defines the provision of free legal services by the Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan to low income persons that need a legal counseling.
228.Starting from 2009, SCFWCA conducts very successfully the Azerbaijani Family Film Festival jointly with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNFPA. The main goal of this Festival and the photo contest ‘From A Life to A Photo’ held in the framework of Festival is to report about current problems of the society via cinematography and photography and demonstrate the contest works to the society to raise awareness. Short movies and social video clips dedicated to relevant topics submitted to the Organizing Committee are sent to the executive authorities to use in places for awareness reasons on annual basis, and at the same time, are screened at the events organized by the Committee. 350,000 persons have participated at these events.
229.41 cases of early marriage were prevented in the framework of measures undertaken by the Children and Family Support Centers under SCFWCA and located in 11 districts jointly with monitoring groups for gender based violence and violence against children.
230.In 2016, 3 criminal cases were launched on forced marriage of a woman. During the years of 2017–2018, no such fact was observed. The same actions in relation to minors have caused the start of 17 criminal cases in 2016 and 22 such criminal cases in 2017.
231.According to Article 32.1 of the Family Code, the properties obtained by spouses in the period of wedlock are considered as their common properties. The common properties of spouses include movable and immovable properties, securities and any other property obtained by them in wedlock period at the expense of their income generated from their labor, entrepreneurial and intellectual activities, pensions and allowances, including also specially made other money payments and general incomes. According to Article 36 of the same Code, the partition of common properties of spouses is administrated in wedlock period, and also following after either of them files a claim for divorce or on the basis of a claim on partition of common properties when it becomes imperative to cover the creditor payments at the expense of either of them using their common property. In case of litigation, the partition of common properties of spouses, including the definition of property shares of either of them are realized via the court.
Information relating to paragraph 40 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
232.In the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action are considered as one of the principally important documents in defending women’s rights and ensuring gender equality. The report is elaborated on this document once per five years and submitted to the UN. This document is widely discussed with NGOs to reflect their opinions and proposals.
Information relating to paragraph 41 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
233.In order to coordinate the fulfillment of obligations undertaken by State institutions and stemming out from ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan was appointed as the Chairman of the Council in accordance with Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 6 October 2016 on Creating the National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
234.The Council’s Secretariat under the Ministry of Economy was established on 23 January 2017 to coordinate the activities of the National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development. Furthermore, 4 working groups are created in such areas as Decent Work and Economic Growth, Social and Environment Issues, Monitoring and Assessment.
235.On 1 May 2017, panel discussions were organized in association with civil society and NGO representatives on the Role of Civil Society in Attaining Sustainable Development Goals.
236.Panel discussions dedicated to ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Woman and Development’ have taken place with the organizational support of the National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan and UN Country Office on 9 June 2017. The linkage between SDGs and gender problems, and the participation of women in these processes were discussed at the meeting.
237.The conference on the Role of Parliamentarians in Implementation of SDGs was organized jointly with the UN at the Milli Majlis on 25 December 2017.
238.In addition, EU and UNDP have launched a contest for civil society institutions in Azerbaijan to submit project proposals for SDGs implementation based on gender equality principle. In the framework of projects, over 500 women were trained in financial literacy, IT skills, increasing professional qualifications, drafting CVs etc. Only in the south of Azerbaijan, more than 800 schoolgirls were involved in training courses while 6 communities have got the access to the modernized water supply and sewerage system following the construction of new water and sewerage systems.
239.Young SDG Ambassadors (17 persons) were selected in the framework of the project On Creating New Platforms to Support Active Youth Engagement in Global Policy Debates implemented jointly by UNDP and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. The main goal of those 17 (including 9 women) Young Ambassadors is to promote SDGs in Azerbaijan, the participation of youth in SDGs implementation, extend a full voluntary support to the State organizations in these areas, help to raise public awareness about measures undertaken at local, national and international levels, contribute to the elaboration of national reports and participate actively in SDGs related initiatives in the country.
Information relating to paragraph 43 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
240.On 20–21 November 2018, international expert has led the training on capacity building in preparation of periodical report for CEDAW Convention with the organizational support of SCWFCA and UNFPA. Representatives of relevant institutions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Youth and Sport, State Statistical Committee, NGOs and others) have participated at the training. They have had discussions on the structure and contents of the periodic report, problems arising in the report preparation, obligations stemming out from the Convention and other issues.
241.The Action Plan of the Council of Europe with Azerbaijan for the years of 2018–2023 envisages the cooperation in increasing access of women to justice, fostering the fight against violence, improving the legislation in this sphere, raising public awareness among decision makers, lawyers and the population and increasing prospective for gender equality in media.
Information relating to paragraph 44 of the concluding observations (CEDAW/C/AZE/CO/5)
242.The adherence of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure requires additional State internal agreements.