For Immediate Release
On May 23, the Second Women Leadership Conference was held in Shamkir region by the USAID-funded Women's Participation Program in cooperation with the State Committee on Family, Women and Children's Affairs and the Azerbaijani Confederation of Entrepreneurs. Representatives from government agencies, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations and media participated in the conference.
The Conference provided an excellent opportunity to bring together government officials, parliamentarians, and women’s civil society organizations to discuss assistance needs for civil society actors to enable them to play more effective roles in policy-making processes for promoting women priority issues, such as women leadership and broader participation of women in policy making and influencing decision-making processes.
In his opening remarks Nazim Veyisov, the Head of Shamkir Executive Power, stressed the importance of conducting the conference in the region, and noted that women in Shamkir actively participate in socio-political processes and that the local government supports them continuously.
Ms. Sadagat Gahramanova, Deputy Chairwoman of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children's Affairs and Ms. Malahat Hasanova, a member of the Social Policy Committee of Parliament, shared their respective views on the state of women in decision-making processes in Azerbaijan. Mr. Michael Greene, USAID/Azerbaijan Mission Director, emphasized that “USAID supports cross-sector partnerships by bringing together local NGOs, the Government of Azerbaijan, media, law enforcement officials and international donors. We hope this Second Conference will strengthen cooperation and dialogue between various stakeholders in the implementation of CEDAW recommendations”.
Ilgar Aghasiyev, Chief of Party of Women’s Participation Program and Country Director of Counterpart International, noted that “Gender equality includes women's economic empowerment. We all know that an important expression of women’s empowerment is through entrepreneurship. Today, at the conference we had fruitful discussions on ways to develop women's entrepreneurship. Various ideas highlighted here today will be included in-conference recommendations".
Working groups discussed the role of women NGOs across a number of development sectors. In addition to women entrepreneurship, participants discussed strengthening women's participation in local self-governance, and in civil society. As a result of the discussions, the participants identified and adopted priorities for the Action Plan and 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 shown to participants at the end of the conference.
The Women Participation Program, implemented by Counterpart International, is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and aimed at improving the status of women in Azerbaijan by advancing public awareness of issues important to women, advancing women’s influence in decision making processes, and developing the capacity of women-focused civil society organizations and government institutions that work on women’s issues.
Last updated: May 24, 2013