Promoting Rural Women’s Participation in the Social and Economic Life
Achieving gender equality is one of the United Nation's highest priorities and is considered as a necessary precondition for fully achieving human development. Gender equality recognizes the individual - regardless of sex - as the central figure of societal progress and enables the nation to set on a long and thorny path to democratization and the nation’s sustainable development. The legal framework and policies pursued by the Government of Azerbaijan create enabling environment for women to exercise their rights and advance their position in the society. Since independence, Azerbaijan has ratified almost all essential international documents on the protection of women's rights. However, in Azerbaijan, like in many other countries, there is a gap between legislative acts and their enforcement. 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 are a root cause of women’s disadvantaged position in public life, the labor market, and other areas.
The project is designed along the key priorities outlined in the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2008-2013 that include the promotion of women’s and girls’ economic rights and opportunities and investing in women’s entrepreneurship.
The project draws on research, communication building and resources development conducted within the Initiation Plan for the Promoting Rural Women’s Participation in Social and Economic Life Project. The assessment of the needs and concerns of rural women in the area of economic participation developed as a part of the Initiation Plan provided important insights into living conditions, problems and aspirations of women residing in rural and sub-urban parts of the pilot area – Sabirabad.
The project aimed to support the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs (SCFWCA) of Azerbaijan Republic in implementing the national measures in response to the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by promoting rural women’s participation in the economic and social life. UNDP supported the activities of SCFWCA through expanding women’s participation in the economic and community life, with a focus on rural areas, as well as build the capacities of the SCFWCA staff in producing qualitative data for evidence-based policy formulation.
The project’s specific objectives included the following:
- Support rural women willing to increase the level of their economic activity through capacity development and network building;
- Strengthen the role of rural women in community based decision-making through capacity development and network building;
- Sensitize private sector (banks, non-banking credit units and private companies) to gender needs and interests of women in rural areas;
- Build capacity of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs to address the needs of rural women through advocacy, policy development and programmatic interventions.
- Project Management Unit is established
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