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Azerbaijan celebrates International Women's Day

8 March 2022 09:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan celebrates International Women's Day

By Sabina Mammadli

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world on March 8.

What later got known as a day of “spring, flowers, and femininity” is actually the day dedicated to the fight for women’s rights and emancipation against systematic oppression.

The holiday's origins may be traced back to the labor revolutions that swept North America and Europe at the start of the 20th century.

Clara Zetkin, a German activist and the chairman of the Social Democratic Party's Women's Office, proposed an International Women's Day during the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910. Over one hundred women from 17 nations unanimously supported the proposal.

On March 19 of the following year, the first International Women's Day was marked. Meetings and protests were held around Europe to mark the day, with the largest public rally drawing 30,000 women. The holiday was changed to March 8 in 1913 and has been marked on that date ever since.

Since 1917, March 8 has been observed as an official holiday in Azerbaijan.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan was the first country in the Middle East to provide women the right to vote.

Azerbaijani women are becoming increasingly active in sociopolitical, socioeconomic, scientific-cultural, and other aspects of life with each passing year.

Azerbaijan formed the State Committee on Family, Women, and Children's Problems in 1998.

Azerbaijan is also represented in the Council of Europe's women's bureau and is a full member of the United Nations Commission on Women's Issues.

In close collaboration with the NGO Alliance for Children Rights, the committee has worked on combating domestic violence in a democratic society, an education campaign among children in special care for the prevention of violence, human trafficking, exploitation of children labor, early marriages, and so on.

Women are now represented in practically every important field of Azerbaijani society, and in certain cases hold leadership roles. 48.2 percent of women actively engage in the country's social and economic life.

As of 2020, women make up 80.7 percent of general education instructors, 78.9 percent of specialized secondary school teachers, 54.7 percent of university professors, and 48.8 percent of university students.

Furthermore, women constitute 66 percent of doctors and 64.9 percent of judges in the country.

Women make up 58.2 percent of all researchers in Azerbaijan. Over the previous decade, the number of women receiving PhDs has climbed by 2.5 times, while the number of those with a PhD in philosophy has increased by 2.2 times. At the same time, women make up 28.5 percent of government officials, 21.7 percent of entrepreneurs, and 42.6 percent of athletes.

Some 16 percent of the deputies of the Parliament, including the Speaker, are also women.

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