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Strong women - strong communities

Jun 1, 2018

The past ten years have seen consistent improvement in the economic situation in Azerbaijan, with many new employment opportunities generated. However, unemployment continues to be higher among Azeri women than men. Women face segregation in many sectors of employment and tend to be employed mainly in low-wage sectors traditionally regarded as ‘female’ jobs, such as in education, health and social services. Disparities are also observed in the level of men’s and women’s participation in entrepreneurial activity, with women comprising only 26.38 % of the country’s total number of entrepreneurs.

These and other disparities in men’s and women’s participation in economic, social and political life are largely attributed to patriarchal attitudes and the stereotypes regarding women roles and responsibilities in the family and society. These attitudes constitute a significant impediment to the implementation of legal provisions on equal opportunities, limiting women’s opportunities to claim and fully exercise their rights.

This booklet showcases five inspiring stories of women living in rural areas of Azerbaijan who have overcome socio-economic disadvantages and have secured a future for themselves by creating their own business.

These women are feautured as part of UNDP's project on “Enabling civil society to play a greater role in advancing gender equality and women rights", which was implemented in close partnership with the Government of Azerbaijan and a leading civil society organisation. Launched in 2016, this joint initiative received financial support from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme in the amount of USD 444,000. In only 2 years since the project began, over 900 women have successfully completed a series of trainings and 28 have already started their own businesses, inspiring many friends and relatives to do the same.

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