By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijani women are increasingly involved in the socio-economic and socio-political life of the country, and their activities are expanding beyond national borders.
The Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan purposefully expands the cooperation with colleagues abroad, particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said Sakina Babayeva, the head of the Association.
"Interest in bilateral cooperation is mutual,” she said. “Our colleagues in the UAE are in contact with our Association. We were invited to visit UAE to participate in the forum soon. The opportunities for expanding women's business are planned to be discussed and experience in this sphere is expected to be exchanged within the forum."
Babayeva added that she was elected speaker at the upcoming forum to be held in early May.
The Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan was established with the support of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs in October 2017, primarily aimed at strengthening the role of women in the field of entrepreneurship, as well as the dynamic development of small and medium-sized businesses in Azerbaijan.
For a short period of work, the Association has concluded memorandums of cooperation with the associations of women entrepreneurs of Russia, Georgia, Latvia, and it plans to expand cooperation with similar organizations in various states in the territory of the former Soviet Union.
Over 143,000 women are engaged in business in Azerbaijan, according to statistics. The growth of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan is one of the priority directions of the economic policy and it is closely related to the development of small and medium-sized businesses, and in particular to the development of women's business in the country.
Every day, the role of women in entrepreneurship and their number grow in the world. According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, the share of women among entrepreneurs in the country is 21.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the share of Azerbaijani women in the socio-economic life of the country makes up 48.2 percent of the total number of employed population. Last year, the share of women among civil servants was 28.6 percent, and among entrepreneurs - 21.5 percent. Women engaged in physical education and sports made up 42 percent.
The number of women deputies in the parliament is also growing. While in 1990 women accounted for 4.3 percent of all MPs and for 10.7 percent in 2000, today the share of female MPs in the country reaches 16.8 percent.
In the last municipal elections, the number of women elected to municipality membership has increased 6 times to 5,236 and today their share in the number of municipal members is 35 percent. The figure was 4 percent in the first municipal elections.
Azerbaijan also supports social and economic development of rural women. Recently, Association of Rural Women of Azerbaijan was established together with the World Bank in order to create business opportunities for women living in the rural areas.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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