UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Alessandro Fracasseti's speech at the event dedicated to the International Women Day

Mar 7, 2017

Dear Hijran xanim Huseynova, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs;
Dear Members of Parliament;
Dear Guests;
Dear most respected Women.

I am very pleased to congratulate all of you on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme on the occasion of the upcoming 8th of March - International Women’s Day.

International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Gender equality is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the global plan agreed by leaders of all countries in New York in 2015 to meet the challenges we face. Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls specifically for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and this is central to the achievement of all the 17 SDGs.

This year the theme for International Women’s Day identified by the United Nations is: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. The focus is still in the lack of equality between women and man in the workplace worldwide with only 50% of working age women represented in the labour force globally compared to 76% of men.

As the UN Secretary-General stated in his message for International Women’s Day : “when women participate fully in the labour force, this creates opportunities and generates growth. Closing the gender gap in employment could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025. Increasing the proportion of women in public institutions makes them more representative, increases innovation, improves decision-making and benefits whole societies”.

UNDP Azerbaijan has a rich experience in working with the Government and in particular with the State Committee on promoting gender equality, empowering women and supporting their employment.

In our joint project with the Committee and European Union, we strive to increase the role of the civil society in advancing women’s rights and promote economic and social participation of rural women through civil society organizations in Sabirabad, Neftchala and Bilasuvar regions.

Jointly with the Committee and supported by USAID, we work on creation of opportunities for women of Masalli by the establishment of the Masalli Women Resource Center; we support the establishment of women-led businesses; and increased gender awareness among communities and public officials.

We hope these initiatives will soon be joined by many more in other parts of the country.

I am very pleased that we have the same goal and aim: to see Azerbaijani women as strong, empowered, and equal as they deserve to be.

I was told that Azerbaijani women are dedicated, strong, loyal and courageous. That they have been well known throughout history for their diplomatic skills, their dedication to family and their heroism.

On this special day, it is worth highlighting these precious qualities and applauding you from the bottom of my heart!

Thank you. And Happy International Women’s Day 2017!

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