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Baku hosts conference “Sustainable Development Goals: women and development” [UPDATE]

09 June 2017 [16:35] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli

“Sustainable Development Goals: Women and Development” conference kicked off in Baku on June 9.

The event was jointly organized by the UN Office in Azerbaijan and the National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development (NCCSD). 

Deputy Prime-Minister, Chairman of the NCCSD Ali Ahmadov, addressing the conference, highlighted the Azerbaijani government`s measures and projects to strengthen the institution of family and protect women`s and children`s rights.

“Important documents have been endorsed to ensure gender equality, fight domestic violence, develop female entrepreneurship and improve social status of women,” Ahmadov added.

Women play an important role in the life of Azerbaijan, but this role should grow, stressed the deputy prime-minister.

Ahmadov said that Azerbaijan pays special attention to gender issues, adding that ensuring gender equality creates the opportunity to use the potential of women in the development of society.

“The more women are engaged in public affairs, the economy and other spheres, the faster the society develops,” he added.

He went on to say that according to the estimates of international organizations, 70 percent of men and 46 percent of women are involved in public activity in the world. "But two third of all works in the world are performed by women. This also includes home economy," he said.

Ahmadov stressed that more women are represented in the spheres of education and healthcare. "Almost more than 70 percent of those working in these areas are women, which are an indicator of their education.  Women represent more than 30 percent in municipalities. Women are active in other spheres of society, as well" he said.

UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Ghulam Isaczai also confirmed that Azerbaijan pays special attention to gender equality.

He noted that Azerbaijani women are more active in social areas. “In many countries, women are represented in parliament and other state bodies. Unfortunately, there are still some countries where women face discrimination. In Azerbaijan, however, gender equality is developing and women are becoming more actively involved in social life. In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first country in the east to grant women suffrage,” the resident coordinator added.  

Highlighting the field of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Azerbaijan as a priority area of the United Nations, Isaczai stated that this support would further continue.

 “UNDP and UN will continue to work with the Government, civil society and other partners to clear away any barriers to gender equality,” he mentioned.

Chairperson of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova said that if the proportion of women among entrepreneurs was 17 percent in Azerbaijan in 2012, this figure reached 21 percent in early 2017.

“The proportion of women in the Azerbaijani parliament is 188 percent. Deputy Heads in 71 executive powers out of the 78 are female. Azerbaijan is consistently working to prevent trafficking of women and violence against children,” she said.

Huseynova stressed that the Azerbaijani government pays special attention to education of children and women.

Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Bahar Muradova underscored the importance of educating the public in order to achieve sustainable development.

She said that in Azerbaijan there are no problems with gender equality from the point of view of the legislative base and traditions.  

The main objective of this event was to discuss the ways to increase active women participation in the social life and to deliberate the targets and indicators related to the fifth Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Azerbaijan. 

Such panel discussion as well as the ones previously held with academia and civil society contributed to the development of the Voluntary National Review to be presented in the United Nation High-Level Political Forum in July 2017. These discussions created an inclusive conditions for the representatives of diverse segments of society to express their opinions.


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