Economic and Social Empowerment of Young and Disabled Women

New World Project, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, implemented by UNDP

 From "Start Your Business" Training held in Neftchala under the project

Women constitute a half of the population in Neftchala. According to official data, out of 42047 female residents 25513 have complete secondary education, while 2107 have higher education. 21 640 women are economically active, which covers all female labor force (working and unemployed).

Similar to overall situation in the country, in Neftchala women mainly work in low-paid education and healthcare sectors. Number of women with officially registered unemployment status is 81 (the number suggests serious underreporting of female unemployment). Neftchala has 6427 retired women. 49 women are employed in various capacities in local municipal offices. Among 19 heads of local municipalities only two are women.

The region has very low number of women entrepreneurs: only 0.8% of the economically active women are engaged in the entrepreneurial activity.

Women with disabilities constitute a particularly vulnerable category of population. Neftchala region and surrounding villages have 742 women with different degrees of disability. 130 women are living in Neftchala regional center. Only 41 women are currently employed and at the same time they are entitled for the disability pension. 701 are not employed, although they are entitled to the disability pension according to the disability grading system (Note: the data was provided by “Disabled Women” Society in Azerbaijan).

In order to gain better understanding of the challenges faced by women in Neftchala, in early 2014 UNDP conducted a field assessment of the needs and concerns of rural women in the area of economic and community participation. The Assessment provided important insights into living conditions, problems and aspirations of women residing in rural and sub-urban parts of the Neftchala region. The Assessment has identified the following strong points that the project will capitalize on. Women in Neftchala:

  • have good education and receive family support for pursuing education;
  • have access to modern technology and information sources and are computer literate;
  • enjoy good level of mobility in public spaces and there is no rigid restriction in choice of employment though some gender stereotypes regarding jobs still persist;
  • are interested in strengthening their social participation and are connected through extended informal networks. 
At the same time, the assessment identified some areas of concern that the project will address. Women in Neftchala:
  • suffer from scarcity of income-generation opportunities available in their communities;
  • have no access to resources on job vacancies, employment finding skills and successful self-presentation;
  • dedicate large portion of their day to unpaid labor, which prevents them from exploring opportunities for economic and social participation; 
  • lack of basic financial literacy skills.

Project Goals

The project goal is to create opportunities for young and disabled women and to fully participate in the economic and social life of their community. The above-listed challenges identified by the Assessment will be addressed primarily by opening and building capacity of the Women Resource Centre to enable it to act as a technical facility providing a broad range of services to women. The WRC should build its operations drawing on active local network of young and disabled women and strong interest of local municipality and executive authority to address women’s issues.

Project Achievements

  • The assessment of employment opportunities for women in local market was conducted;
  • Series of trainings on job search, CV writing, interview skills, presentation skills and effective communication skills were provided for 40 women participants;
  • Women Resource Centre (WRC) was established, renovated and refurbished at the building of Regional Library. WRC Manager and WRC Coordinator were recruited; 
  • Training on Strengthening Women’s Social Participation in Rural and Sub-urban Areas for 24 young women was provided;
  • Training on NGO Establishment and Management was provided and founders, board members and members of the LNGO were agreed;
  • “Business Skills Development” trainings (“Start and Improve Your Business” workshop, according to ILO methodology) were conducted in Baku and Neftchala, and the competition for business grants was launched among women participants. Maximum 10-12 best micro project proposals will be identified during the process;
  • Training and educational materials were published in advance for the training on the “Development of policies and programmatic interventions in the area of economic empowerment and community-based activism of young women”, which will target the staff of local executive authority of Neftchala and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs


Donors Amount, USD
The Coca Cola Foundation 90 000
UNDP  23 472

Delivery by years

Fiscal Year  Amount, USD 
2014 3 000
2015 TBA

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