You can too! The EU funded projects to present opportunities for women to mark International Women Day

ICT Materials 2 March 2020 11:24 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 2


On 6 March 2020, the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and ‘EU Neighbours east’ to organise an informal gathering with the leading media outlets in Azerbaijan. The main purpose of getting together is to discuss the tangible results and opportunities that EU delivers to the women in Azerbaijan through its projects and to strengthen cooperation with journalists. The meeting will attend the EU Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas, representatives of the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund, journalists, bloggers, EU funded projects, women, who receive help and support from the EU as well as Young European Ambassadors.

For sixty years, the European Union has worked tirelessly to defend women’s rights and to empower them to realise their full potential. Gender equality is at the heart of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative. It is vital to the individual lives of women as well as men, and essential for long-term democratic development. In its cooperation with Azerbaijan, the EU is driving real change by strengthening women in business, providing opportunities for quality education and promoting a fair society.

Each programme and project have a real people behind it, the vision, funds and specific actions aiming to support Azerbaijani women and drive economic development in the regions. This meeting is a unique opportunity for media and EU projects’ representatives to get know each other better and strengthen cooperation for informing better women in Azerbaijan about EU funded opportunities.

‘Improvement of the quality of pre-primary and primary education through community-based groups’ project will present their achievements in helping families to prepare children to school and to embrace greater social integration.

Subnaz Aghazada from Massalli region now spends more time with her daughter due to the pre-school education centre, established in her village:

“Having community based preschool in our village did not only change my child’s life, but also mine. I thought that as a mom my duty is just to feed and dress her up. I spent my time mainly at home, doing housework and taking care of farm animals. It was hard for me to find time to spend with my daughter. The Preschool Education Center has changed my life in a more positive way. Now, as a woman, I can be at a public place, meet other mums, attend meetings and socialise. I have become a caring mother who can find time to spend with her daughter.”

Elmara Suleymanova, teacher from Guba believes, that there is a lot of difference between who she is now and before she started working at the preschool education center: “I was depressed for a quite long time after having unsuccessful marriage at a young age and losing my father so early in life. I lost my hope in future and was thinking that I will never accomplish anything. I never imagined that nice things could ever happen to me. When I was selected as a teacher for the community preschool group, it opened a new page in my life. My self-confidence has increased and I started to believe in myself. Now I can stand on my feet and the love I receive from the children at the Centre inspires me and gives strength and courage.”

Promoting the Role of Civil Society in Gender-sensitive SDG implementation project aims to ‘leave no one behind’, contributing to women’s empowerment. Arzu Mammadova is a 45-year old single mother of three. Her husband passed away when their children were little. Since then she carried the weight of the family responsibility on her shoulders all alone. For years she didn’t have a permanent job and struggled to provide for her family, always depending on her brother and relatives to support her financially. Today, Arzu has her brand new business - ‘Grandma Asli’s Tendir’ bread shop. It was made possible through financial support of the European Union and is part of the Action to fight discrimination against vulnerable women in the North-Western region of Azerbaijan.

Global programme to prevent son preference and the undervaluing of girls has been one of the key strategic priorities of UNFPA for several years. Evidence-based data shows that gender stereotypes and misconceptions as well as customary practices that place a high value on sons play major role in the phenomenon of gender biased sex selection in Azerbaijan. According to the relevant projections by UNFPA, it is likely that by 2050 there will be 12,000 to 15,000 more boys than girls born each year if the sex ratio at birth remains high. The similar experience of other countries with the same problem shows that extreme increase of number of men, as well as widespread of violence cases in the country is closely related to a number of negative situations, as a further aggravation of delinquency, bride kidnapping, early marriages, human trafficking, etc.

Young European Ambassadors represent young people from Azerbaijan, which exchange experiences, share best practices and work together with young people from EU and Eastern Partner countries. The Young European Ambassadors regularly participate in dialogue-driven activities to promote common values, including gender equality. They took part in international campaign against gender-based violence, and organised a workshop to enhance the awareness of gender-based violence among local youth.

Additional information:

You can too! How the EU supports women entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan

EU supports gender equality in Azerbaijan

Stronger women — stronger Azerbaijan

Young European Ambassadors