Azerbaijan, population 8.5 million, is located in Central Asia.

Article 25 of the Azerbaijan Constitution, adopted on 12 November 1995, provides for full equality for men and women. Article 34 provides for equal status of men and women within marriage. While the Azerbaijani Constitution and Criminal Code provide protections for women, their status is still not equal to that of men. Traditional attitudes toward the role of women have minimized attention to the role of violence against women and their struggle to achieve equality with men. The U.S. Department of State’s 2004 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Azerbaijan found that women are not adequately represented in the upper echelons of the work force and that the Labor Code restricts the amount, times and places that pregnant women and women with young children may work.

The scope of domestic violence has been difficult to gauge as few women report abuse. The statistical data provided through the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan reported in the “Violence and Women in Azerbaijan” survey by International Rescue Committee that 317 cases regarding crimes of violence against women registered in 2002 and 289 in 2003. In 2001, 39 rape cases were registered in Azerbaijan and 46 in 2003. The 2007 U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices states that the government of Azerbaijan registered a reported 86 rapes and attempted rapes.

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