By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The United Nations Office in Azerbaijan and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of Azerbaijan have launched a 16-day campaign against gender-based violence.
During the conference held in Baku on November 25 to open the campaign, the head of the Committee Hijran Huseynova said that since gaining independence, Azerbaijan has been committed to gender equality and women's rights.
She particularly stressed that the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence was adopted in 2010 as a continuation of reforms in the field of human rights protection. Thus, a strong legislative framework for the protection of women's rights, particularly domestic violence, was established, she said.
Huseynova added that significant efforts are being made to ensure women’s active participation in all areas of social life with the support of First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva.
Futhermore, Huseynova highlighted “patriarchal culture and the worldview” that contribute to the violence against women. She said that 41 percent of men and 34.7 percent of women believe that "a woman must tolerate violence to protect her family", while 20.9 percent of women and 37.4 percent of men believe that "sometimes women deserve to be beaten”.
She additionally pointed out that the analysis of data collected on the domestic violence cases shows that police and other relevant agencies are informed bout situations of domestic violence in the country.
“Violence against women has been perceived as an obstacle to sustainable development within the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Eliminating violence against women has been identified for the first time as a priority for global development,” Huseynova stressed.
In turn, Edward Carwardine, the UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan, acting as UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, said that the 16-day program is a global event and is about real stories and people.
"Violence has no place in modern Azerbaijan," he stressed.
Head of the UN Population Office in Azerbaijan Farid Babayev said that raising awareness and prevention of violence within the 16 days is one of the main directions of ongoing events.
“Lastly, the Nairobi Summit focused on this issue. Every society wishing to make progress in the area of women's health and rights, prevention of violence and discrimination against them should provide a coordinated approach, including the media. The number of inter-agency partners on domestic violence has been increasing lately. However, there is a lot to be done to completely eliminate these cases,” Babayev noted.
Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, said: “I am very pleased that we work as a team with the Committee. In many parts of the world, girls are not allowed to go to school, they are sexually abused and are victims of violence. Elimination is a pillar of respect for human rights. Azerbaijan is our important partner in the East. I appreciate Azerbaijan's efforts in this field.”
"16 Days of Gender Based Violence" is an international campaign held annually from November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) till December 10 (International Human Rights Day). Individuals and organizations around the world are calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls through this event, widely known as the 16-Day Campaign. The 2019 theme for this date is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”.
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