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On 13 October, Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova took the floor at the plenary sitting of the 3rd Eurasian Women’s Forum current in St Petersburg in Russia.
Mrs Gafarova was saying that the subjects lined up for discussion at the Forum provided for an extensive exchange of opinions about women’s role in modern global developments. The endeavours to promote equality, justice and progress for women are bringing fruit: women look into the future with much greater confidence today, according to Sahiba Gafarova.
The changes that are occurring in the world of today, the sustained and dynamic socio-economic development trends give a new content to the status of women in a societal structure, emphasised the Chair of the Milli Majlis. Today, women are contributing lavishly to countering global problems including elimination of the COVID-19 pandemic’s aftermath. They also have a weighty input in the international effort to maintain peace, security and sustainable progress the world over.
As she related the history and achievements of our country’s policy on women, Madame Speaker referred to the special care and attention that women have been surrounded with in Azerbaijan from the olden days. The birth of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 opened new and broad horizons for women poised to become active members of the society. Saying that, Mrs Gafarova stressed the women having been given the suffrage and the right to be elected alongside men specifically in that epoch and for the first time ever in the Muslim East.
The policy on women implemented in our country in the modern age consists in materialising their political, social, economic and cultural rights alongside maintaining gender equality and broadening women’s involvement in state administration, according to Mrs Gafarova. The foundation for such a policy was laid in the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic drafted under the guidance of the Azerbaijanis’ National Leader Heydar Aliyev and adopted in 1995. The State Committee for Women’s Problems was incepted in 1998; it was later renamed as the State Committee for Family, Women’s and Children’s Problems. And in 2000, the president of the country decreed on implementation of a new state policy of women in Azerbaijan. The presidential decree pursued the goal of making certain that women be equitably represented in public administration, business and economy. That same year, the Azerbaijan Republic passed the 2000-2005 National Action Plan for women’s issues, which plan had been based on the Beijing Platform. A special kind of attention was attached to the subject of armed antagonisms in that document.
The Garabagh Conflict that had reaped the lives of so many Azerbaijani citizens including women in the thirty years past is settled and committed to history, Sahiba Gafarova went on. The problems posed by the consequences of that conflict, such as the hardship that befell the refugees and internally displaced people, were also heaved on the shoulders of women, according to the Chair of the Azerbaijani Parliament.
The trilateral statement that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia and the prime minister of Armenia inked in November last year closed the books on the former Garabagh Conflict. The new realia established in the region after Azerbaijan’s victory in the 44 days’ Patriotic War open the broadest prospects of more active engagement in all facets of social life in behalf of women, said the Chair of the Milli Majlis.
Then, Sahiba Gafarova emphasised that the work done under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan currently is bringing about massive advance in every state policy segment concerning women. The systematic reforms afoot in the country as well as the expansive socio-economic growth problems for the provinces of the country bear well in women’s lives. The laws enacted in this regard provide for continued improvement of gender equality maintenance. Mrs Gafarova pointed out also that Azerbaijan’s First Vice President Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva is making a contribution of its own to this cause – the contribution that permits yet greater achievements in defending women’s rights and boosting their roles in the state and social lives. The First Lady of Azerbaijan inspires our women to tap into their potentials with greater resolve through her multi-faceted and successful activities.
The growth of women’s movement and the strengthening social partnership between women’s public associations and state agencies are both good for making the social protection of women more robust. According to the Chair of the Milli Majlis, the complete education of women’s potential and the expansion of their rights and of the opportunities for them alike are the conditions precedent to building healthier and more prosperous societies.