The member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Elmira Akhundova, exclusively informed Trend that the meeting of the PACE Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men took place in Paris on 15 January.
According to Akhundova, the meeting focused on the report relating to the situation of women in the South Caucasus, prepared by Vera Oskina. The meeting lasted for approximately 4 hours. I had prepared significant corrections to the discussed document. Of those, 5 were admitted by the members of the Committee and reporter. These amendments were included in the text of the Resolution. Two hours of the meeting was dedicated to proposals that I had presented. I was informed that such a situation had not occurred in previous meetings of the Committee, she said. Akhundova stressed that she achieved significant mitigation of the items of the document. For instance, the document described that the situation of women in South Caucasus is extremely anxious. I achieved the removal of the word extremely.
In addition, the document stated that the participation of women in the social-political life in South Caucasus is very weak. The word very weak was replaced with the word weak. Further, the document recommended that the composition of women in parliament should be increased to 15%, and 30% in 2020, Akhundova said. She stressed that the elections in Azerbaijan are not held on a proportional basis and it was not possible to include a list of women due to the fact that the political parties participate in the elections with party lists. I suggested the removal of this item from the document and replace it with three South Caucasus countries were recommended to ensure more active participation of women in parliament'. This proposal was accepted. The situation of refugee women in the region led to deep discussions. The document included only negative aspects. It was stated in the document that South Caucasus sustain problems with refugees and that women and children live in tent camps and trains. An appeal
was sent to the international organizations to resolve this problem. But I emphasized that great measures were taken in Azerbaijan and Georgia to resolve this problem. The refugee camps are liquidated. We should mention the positive aspects. Finally we were able to include this item in the resolution, she said.
Oskina's report was widely discussed at the meeting. Commenting that the report was prepared a year previously, Akhundova stressed that significant changes have been achieved during this period. Therefore, amendments need to be made to the report. The document also dealt with the situation of women prisoners. It was stated that the situation of women prisoners is not satisfactory. It was proposed to provide women prisoners with separate bedrooms. I replied that although it was a good proposal, it was not realistic. I wished to include the word as possible, but it was not adopted, Akhundova said.