In continuation of the long-lasting awareness raising work in the sphere of advancing women’s rights, the UNO Baku – Department of Public Information (UNDPI) team travelled to Shamkir to join in on galvanizing actions for gender equality at the Second Women’s Leadership Conference that took place on 23 May in Shamkir. “Women represent a force to be reckoned with,” said the UNDPI Representative, in her introductory speech. She also evoked the sentiment that “women’s participation is essential in all contexts - during peace, through conflict and post-conflict, and during all kinds of transitions”.
A conference room full of women convened to represent Shamkir and its neighbouring regions, with women’s civil society organizations and media representatives in attendance, as well as many notable women from various governmental and international institutions, all of whom brought their expertise and specialization on ways to enhance women’s leadership.
Concluding her speech, the UNDPI Representative declared the auspicious event an important opportunity to bring together all concerned parties and to put forth recommendations on how to boost the process of women’s empowerment in Azerbaijan.
Ms. Sadagat Gahramanova, Deputy Chairwoman of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children's Affairs, shared her views on the issue of decision-making for Azerbaijani women. “Our aim is to improve the status of women in Azerbaijan by advancing their influence in the decision-making processes, by supporting civil society organizations that focus on issues important to women, and by raising public awareness of those concerns,” she added.
Working groups discussed the role of gender-focused NGOs across a number of development sectors. In addition to women’s entrepreneurship, participants discussed strengthening women's involvement in local self-governance and in civil society. As a result of the discussions, the participants identified and adopted priorities for the Action Plan, together with Final Recommendations on ‘Strengthening women's participation in decision-making processes’.
A film on women's entrepreneurship, and various public service announcements entitled “Raise your Voice against Domestic Violence”, “Gender Equality Support”, “The Scale of Rights”, “Shattered Dream”, and “The Life Ladder” were screened at the end of the conference . These PSAs were produced by the ’Clean World’ Public Union in coalition with the Citizens' Labor Rights League, within the framework of Women's Participation Program, and with funding by USAID and the implementation of Counterpart International.