UNIFEM Launches report on “The Status of IDP Women in Azerbaijan”
Thursday, August 10, 2006 1:59 PM

Press Release
10 August 2006

While IDPs as a whole are vulnerable, IDP women remain strong: UNIFEM Launches report on “The Status of IDP Women in Azerbaijan

A rapid Assessment on “The Status of IDP Women in Azerbaijan” was launched on 25 July, 2006 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Representatives of UN agencies, the Government of Azerbaijan, NGOs and women’s networks, such as Coalition 1325 and National Network of IDP Women, took part in the launch of the Report.   

The UNIFEM Assessment was carried out by the Azerbaijan-based Sigma Research Center for Development and International Collaboration, with funding and technical support coming from the Agency. The primary goal of the Assessment is to map out the key challenges faced by IDP women in Azerbaijan and to integrate these priorities into key policies, such as the State Programmme on Poverty Reduction and Economic Development of Azerbaijan

Based on the responses of over 230 IDP women, alongside those of local women, experts from the NGO and government sector, this Assessment provides a snapshot of IDP women’s lives and concerns through their own voices.

“This Assessment will act as a platform for future advocacy work of the National Network of IDP Women” said the National Coordinator of UNIFEM regional project “Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building in the Southern Cacuasus”, Ms. Gulshan Pashayeva.

“While IDPs as a group are very vulnerable, IDP women remain very strong, - , Ms. Hijran Huseynova, Chairwoman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Issues, reiterated in her opening speech. “They maintain the family and care for the children, the elderly and those disabled as a result of the conflict, and in so doing, meet a lot of challenges. Therefore improving the overall situation of IDPs remains the main priority of the government of Azerbaijan”, - she stressed.

“At the UN, we are very good at advocating on behalf of vulnerable groups, but such a report allows the women to speak for themselves and for us to listen said Mr. David Eizenberg, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Azerbaijan. “Through the voices of IDP women, the main challenges of IDP community have been raised in this Assessment”, - he underlined. 

Poverty and unemployment were named by IDP women as their greatest challenge – with there being very little in the way of economic opportunities beyond state assistance. The most pressing needs and priorities identified were inadequate infrastructure in serving the needs of the communities such as medical centers, educational resources, as well as public baths, access to safe drinking water, passable roads and proper shelters.  

Based on the results of interviews, analysis of government obligations, including those under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, this Assessment offers recommendations to the Government of Azerbaijan, civil society and international organization on how to improve the situation of IDP women.  These include strengthening the gender components of state laws and programmes specific to IDPs; ensuring that local governments have the resources and understanding necessary to provide adequate public services for women, with particular focus on economic opportunities and access to health care services; strengthen links of IDP women with international and non-governmental organizations to build women’s capacity to participate in public life and widening possibilities for job creation.   

“The report documents a real situation which IDP women and girls face currently, - said Mr. Mahammad Maharramov, Deputy Head of the Department for Problems of Refugees, IDPs, Migration and Work with International Organizations at the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan. “In spite of the huge efforts the Government of Azerbaijan is undertaking to support IDPs, we have to admit that situation is still very difficult in many areas and more must be done.” he said.

“This Assessment, its findings and recommendations will be a useful reference for us on the way to overcoming the isolation of IDP women, to help them participate and live in improved conditions and achieve a better standard of living”, said Ms. Huseynova.    

Since 2001, UNIFEM has worked in Azerbaijan under the sub-regional programme “Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in the Southern Caucasus”. From assessing the situation of IDP women, supporting women leaders to work on gender equality and conflict resolution, to mobilizing youth on gender and peace, the UNIFEM project has been active throughout Azerbaijan.

For more information, please contact: Olga Grebennikova, Communication Specialist, UNIFEM Regional Project “Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in the Southern Caucasus”; (994 12) 498 98 88, mobile (994 50) 594 60 33, email olga.grebennikova@unifem.org


UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations, providing financial support and technical assistance to innovative programs promoting women's human rights, their economic and political empowerment, and gender equality in over 100 countries. For more information, visit www.unifem.org