Photo: Karin Råghall / Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna in Azerbaijan

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights in Azerbaijan since 2004. There is very little space for activism in the country’s harshly repressive climate. Nevertheless, brave individuals and groups work to address gender-based violence, child marriage and femicide. They call for women to be included in peace talks on the country’s long-standing territorial conflict and empower women to be politically active.

Why we work in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and Armenia are embroiled in conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Because of it, over half a million people are internally displaced in Azerbaijan, often living under challenging circumstances. A ceasefire was negotiated in 1994, but no lasting peace has been reached. Peace talks so far have almost entirely excluded women.

Being a women’s rights activist in Azerbaijan is extremely difficult and even dangerous. The regime severely curtails freedom of expression, disrespects human rights and imprisons overly outspoken activists. Simply registering an NGO is hard; receiving foreign support nearly impossible.

The country struggles with femicide (selective abortion of female fetuses), forced marriage and increasing instances of child marriage. Violence against women is a major problem, especially in communities affected by conflict. Victims have very little recourse to help and few dare to report.

In theory, Azerbaijan has adopted several women’s rights laws. In reality, these have not been implemented and little information is available to the public.

Women activists from Azerbaijan who encourage young women to stand up for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Photo: Karin Råghall / Kvinna till Kvinna

How we support women in Azerbaijan

Together with the activists we support in Azerbaijan, we:

  • increase participation of women in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process
  • promote peacebuilding and support IDPs affected by the conflict
  • train young women for future roles in peacebuilding and conflict resolution
  • lobby for the implementation of women’s rights laws
  • combat trafficking of women and children
  • encourage political participation of women
  • prevent gender-based violence and lobby for better support for victims
  • promote peace journalism and nuanced reporting

Survivors of abuse start new life

In Sumgayit, we support activists who provide a safe space for victims of domestic abuse. This changed the life of Valida Aliyeva: with the help of those we support, she was able to get an education, become financially independent and start a new life.

News about our work in Azerbaijan