Empowering women for a better future
Mar 8, 2019
Over the past twenty years, economic growth in Azerbaijan has brought new employment opportunities for its people. Unemployment rates dropped from 12 percent in 2000 to five percent in 2018.
However, the boon has not benefitted everyone equally. Employment rates among women, although relatively high (67 percent), are lower than among men (72 percent). In general, women find it harder than men to get jobs in well-paid sectors, such as energy or industry. They tend to be employed mainly in underpaid sectors traditionally regarded as feminine, such as education, health care and services. Only 26 percent of the country’s entrepreneurs are women.
In Azerbaijan, as in many parts of the world, the disparities in economic opportunities for women and men are rooted in patriarchal norms and traditional gender roles. These deeply ingrained social norms impede the realisation of legal provisions on gender equality.
This booklet presents the experiences of six women whose life changed for the better as a result of UNDP's intervention throught its flagship mechanism -the Women’s Resource Centres. The stories of these women demonstrate that with the right idea, personal determination and the right support, women can overcome myriad challenges and become successful entrepreneurs. They also show that it is critical to sustain and expand Women’s Resource Centres to reach more women in Azerbaijan and take this model for women’s entrepreneurship to other countries.