Enabling civil society to play a greater role in advancing gender equality and women’s rights


UNDP-supported assessments of the needs of women in two provincial areas – Sabirabad and Neftchala- found that women in regional centre and villages are rarely engaged in community activities, interest groups, discussions and other types of social activism. This evidence of the assessment is confirmed by the national statistics - women NGOs in Azerbaijan constitute only 6.7% of the total number of NGOs registered in Azerbaijan. To make it worse, only 11% of NGOs engaged in women empowerment and gender equality sector are based outside of Baku. Disparities observed in the level of men’s and women’s participation in economic, social and political life are, to a large extent, accounted for by patriarchal attitudes and the stereotypes regarding women roles and responsibilities in the family and society, which constitute a significant impediment to the implementation of the legal provisions and limit women’s opportunities to claim and fully exercise their rights.

The UN CEDAW review is an effective mechanism to lobby and advocate for women’s rights. Being a major human rights treaty for women and principal legal instrument addressing women's rights and equality, the substance of the Convention is based on three interrelated core principles: equality, non-discrimination and State obligation.

Women NGOs present in the country still lack good understanding of the CEDAW Convention and are not adequately aware of the full range of the intervention and participation opportunities in CEDAW related process, such as the preparation of an alternative report.

The CEDAW related process should also be accompanied by a range of advocacy and lobbying initiatives, the application of which requires certain knowledge of the effective advocacy tools as well as sufficient understanding of the internal system and procedures related to CEDAW Committee. If adequately and professionally approached by local stakeholders, namely by women NGOs, CEDAW can be an excellent tool to promote gender equality in the country, making women strong enough to impact all aspects of their lives.

Project Goals

The overall objective of the action is to increase the role of the civil society in advancing women’s rights and to promote economic and social participation of rural women through civil society organizations.

The specific objectives of the action are the following:

  1. Build capacities of the non-governmental organizations to advance the gender equality agenda through human-rights based approach;
  2. Strengthen capacities of women activists to better exercise their right to social participation;
  3. Enable vulnerable women to better exercise their economic rights. 

Capacity development approach constitutes the principal methodology for the implementation of all activities proposed by the action. As practiced and promoted by UNDP, an essential ingredient in the capacity development approach will be to bring about transformation that is generated and sustained over time from within.

The expected results of the proposed action are structured under four components which are described in further detail below:

  • CSOs have stronger capacities to advocate for, monitor and report on the implementation of the major international treaty addressing women’s right
  • Women Resource Centres are established and/or maintained as a vehicle to support women’s civic engagement in Sabirabad, Neftchala and Bilasuvar
  • Women community groups are equipped with tools and resources to exercise their right to social participation
  • Women are enabled to more actively participate in economic activities and exercise their economic rights

Project Accomplishments

  • Project Management Unit is established
  • International Consultant is recruited
  • Location for WRC is identified


Donors Amount of contribution, USD
EU 438.158
UNDP 48.684
In kind contributions 30.000


Fiscal Year Amount of disbursement, USD

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