While determining the development goals, the international community declares the importance of gender equality in a view to achieving development of democracy, social justice and tolerance. Consequently, the promotion and protection of women’s rights, gender equality, and restoration of the violated women’s rights became one of the priorities in the activity of the Azerbaijani Commissioner for human rights.
After analyzing the situation of the women rights in the country, the Commissioner prepared recommendations for improving the legislation, state programs, and national legal and normative acts that in force. The Commissioner reported before the various audience about topics on distinctive peculiarities of the leadership between women and men, better career models for women and men, the role of innovations and researches in elimination of gender inequality, that is, better strategy for creating employment opportunities for women and men in new scientific institutions, along with organization of events on women in education, protection of the right to health and reproductive rights, prevention of abuse of women.
Vast majority of recommendations and suggestions made by the Commissioner were considered in the national Action Program on Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by the Presidential Order dated 27 December, 2011 as well as in the “Azerbaijan 2020: Development Concept” approved by the Presidential Decree dated 29 December, 2012 and are currently successfully implemented.
It is obvious that the fifth goal of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2016-2030 years adopted by the UN in September, 2015 is explicitly stipulates the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Consequently, while drafting the National Strategy and Action Plan on analyzing gender-based violence and assisting the victims of such violence, the Commissioner proposed to consider the relevant provisions of documents of national and international importance.
The Commissioner continues her activity towards the 12 priorities of Beijing Platform for Action, as the most progressive international document on advancing of women rights. Eventually, the Commissioner co-operates with local and central executive bodies, non-governmental organizations, and mass media and organizes events on solution of the existed challenges for increasing the participation of women in the decision-making processing in relation to gender equality, all areas of the life.
The Commissioner takes immediate and urgent measures and investigates with regard applications and complaints about gender stereotypes, discrimination, social rights, family and reproductive health issues as cornerstone of gender equality within her competences.
The Commissioner and her staff conduct advocacy and awareness raising seminars for women living in urban and remote areas of the country about women entrepreneurship, gender equality, human trafficking, and early marriages. Consequently, thousands of women become to understand and know better their rights, which pave the way for increasing their participation in the society. The protection of the rights of the women prisoners are also a sensitive issue for the Commissioner and necessary activity is continued in this field as well.
After 2015, along with the reforms taken at national level and developments, the government of Azerbaijan is recommended to increase the efforts in some fields. So, by extending her activity towards gender equality, empowerment of women, prevention of gender-based stereotypes and elimination of the existed gaps, the Commissioner pays more attention to the women’s rights.
The Commissioner actively co-operates in the field of protection of women rights and gender equality not only at the national, but also at the international levels. For this purpose, the Commissioner and her staff participated, reported and shared their relevant experience in international events.
Some of the Ombudsman’s recommendations include the adopting the draft Law on the Protection of Children from Corporal Punishment, the draft Laws on Juvenile Justice and Reproductive Health; ratifying Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, III Optional Protocol to the CRC on the procedure of submitting of application; and the creating the Alimony Fund.