Empowering Rural Women to Participate in Economic and Social Life


  'Start and Improve Your Business' training for rural women in Sabirabad region

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 labour market, and other areas.

Project Goals

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:

  • Development and piloting of the awareness-raising and education materials;
  • Assessment of labour market and sociological surveys among the target    groups;
  • Defining the training needs of the staff of the SCWFCA; and
  • Preparing the training curriculum/materials.

Project Accomplishments

  • SCFWCA and UNDP conducted training on gender sensitive policy development for the State Committee’s staff thus strengthening the agency’s capacity to generate policies and programs targeting vulnerable groups of women across the country.
  • The Assessment of the needs and concerns of rural women in the area of economic participation has provided important insights into living conditions, problems and aspirations of women residing in rural and sub-urban parts of the in the pilot area (Sabirabad region).Educational and awareness-raising resources presented key information on economic rights of women in Azerbaijan and best international practices in promoting economic and social agency of rural women.
  • Meetings and seminars helped to identify vulnerable groups and establish good communication channels with the main stakeholders (local women entrepreneurs, young rural women willing to start business and local government).


2011- 2012


Amount contributed, US$




Fiscal Year

Amount disbursed, US$





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