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 Program Resume - AWDC Program Description (AWDC)

 Duration: 31.12.1994 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Community development

Report Of Azerbaijan "Women and Development" Center (AWDC)

Azerbaijan "Women and Development" Center was organized in 1994 and officially registered in 1995 as the nongovernmental, non-profit Organization. It is the first research and practical Center on Women's issues in Azerbaijan, closely connected with many women, Children and civic Organizations.

Main Objectives and tasks of the Center are working out of the Plan of Action and National priorities in accordance with World Women Strategies adopted on the 4th World Conference of Women (WCM), acceleration and lobbying of the Women, Youth and other civic organizations' activity on the base of free will cooperation moving towards Sustainable Development, Democracy, Peace.

Here are the main directions and results of our activity:

It were worked out and sent to the commissions of Parliament on Social problems, Human Rights and others the Women's proposals for the new Laws of the sovereign Azerbaijan Republic on Health, Labor, Culture and Women's participation in Decision making.

As the result of Women's advocacy, Azerbaijan joined the Convention on elimination of all Forms Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) according to the Parliament Decree.

We had worked out and sent to the Constitutional Commission the recommendations, which were taken in account making corrections to the state Constitution.

AWDC guided Azerbaijan women's activity on the Beijing NGO Forum. Before Beijing it was worked out the plan of preparations and activity of azery women in the Forum, which was sent to the governmental, non-governmental organizations and UN bodies. It were organized eight pre-Forum meetings of the delegates for lobbying and concentrating of their efforts on the main concerns of azerbaijan Women.

In Beijing we had more than twenty reports on the Plenary session and different workshops, covering the problems of Health, Education, Human Rights, Science and Technology, Women in war and armed conflicts, Hostages, Refugees and IDP problems, Peace keeping and Human Rights' Violations.

We had adapted into azerbaijan language Beiging Declaration and plan of Action, also the Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and shared these important Documents among the Women of the Cities and rural regions, organizing zonal Conferences, Seminars, trainings in order to involve different grassroot organizations into the process of implementation of national programs, including the main concerns of rural Women.

One of the main issues of our women is "Women in war and armed conflicts. The women worked actively on the problems of the war victims' families, hostages, refugees and IDP, widows and orphans, disabled persons etc. We have sent appeals to the UN Commission on Women Status on implementation of the 39th Session’s decision to release rapidly and unconditionally all hostages from civil population - women, children, elderly among them in the conflict regions, to allow and assist them to return to the places of origin, restore their families and realize their Human Rights.

As the result of ten years of armenian aggression we have lost more than 20% of our territory and the civil population of these regions have fled from fire and death. So, we have more than million refugees and IDPs in the country with the population of 7 millions. Most of them are living so long time in refugee camps and they are exposed for different violations of that Human Rights. Our Women are doing their best to improve the survival of the refugee families.

We promoted researches, collect data, compile statistics, analyze them and work out conclusions on their main problems. Recommendations, based on the results of these researches also the expeditions to the refugee camps in rural regions, were sent to the Cabinet of Ministers, Parliament, Ministries of Health, Education, another official organizations, including International Conferences in different countries.

It was prepared the arrival program for the six thousand of refugees and IDPs, who live in 1200 tents of Saatli Camp in ecologically hard situation. This program is realized from the year 1995 with the participation of some Women, Youth, civic NGOs, the business women from the private sector, also the support of the International Federation of Red Cross, UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and International NGOs.

Thousands of people received some relief - food, dress, medicines so necessary for their survival. This activity was highly appreciated, taking in mind also regular community based medical and psychological support as the result of these actions.

Peace problems are also of vital importance for azerbaijan women. So, peacemaking is from our main concerns. That's why it was organized special Peace Division in AWDC. Now the first National Peace Alliance is organized on the base of the last one, including different women, youth, cultural and other NGOs and CBOs. From 1997 it is a member of International Peace Bureau. We disseminate in the world community the real information on the results of armenian aggression in different ways. We have sent the appeals to the world Community in order to stop all armed conflict inhuman tortures and violations of Human Rights, also to enforce urgently the International Peace Conventions, legislative norms, UN decrees in the time of war and armed conflicts all over the world. It was sent Appeal to the participants of Transcaucas Dialogue from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia on urgently peacemaking in the region. We used actively the tribune of many International Conferences, also mass media to reach positive effect.

Taking in account, that UN declared 1996 the Year of Poverty eradication also high poverty level in the country as the result of war and economic specificity of transition period, we have prepared and sent to the World Bank our proposals on gender and age sensitive poverty study and eradication. AWDC organizes the activity of the Community on social protection of women and children.

An environment is one of the most important elements of sustainable Development and one of the hardest problems in Azerbaijan with the wide developed Petrol and Chemical industry. That's why one of directions of AWDC is devoted to these issues, especially connected with the children's and Women's Health, including the reproductive health of last ones. In ECO- countries (Almety, April 1996) and International Conference on Women, Work, Health (Barcelona, April, 1996) it were represented AWDC reports on these issues.

Education and bringing - up issues are also in the center of AWDC activity. The seminar - training was organized by AWDC in cooperation with Ministry Education of Azerbaijan also the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) taking into account local national realities, traditions, special features and experience. The recommendations of the Seminar were highly appreciated by the foreign participants and WAGGS leadership.

AWDC is the first local NGO, providing with the great success the Community based Service on Reproductive Health and Family Planning in the cities and rural districts of Azerbaijan. A special center on this problem implementation is created in Sheki. The project will be implemented also in Sumgait and other districts.

Human Rights issues are also from important ones in the AWDC activity. As 1996 was declared by UN the beginning of the Human Rights Education Decade, we organized Seminars under, umbrella: "Human Rights - for each woman with the discussion of the Lawyers' reports "Our Human Rights in Nairobi, Jakarta and Beijing Plans of Action, "Human Rights of hostages, refugees and Internally displaced persons", "Beijing Plan of Action and Human Rights of Women, Youth, Children", CEDAW and Women's Human Rights violation and Domestic violence and others.

Rural Women's Department of AWDC is the umbrella organization for women in the country rural districts, which deals with the income generation, healthcare and other projects. As the result, one of the farmers from the rural districts of Azerbaijan became the winner of "Prize for women's creativity in rural life" from Women's World Summit Foundation.

AWDC stimulates and accelerates the strengthening of lobbying process between the Governmental, non - governmental Organizations, UN - bodies (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDPI, and oth.) on the preparation and implementation of National Plan of Action, working out the real mechanism, advocacy and monitoring systems to enforce the legislative norms and programs on Women issues. Regularly are organized the meetings with the members and the leaders of the Commissions of Parliament, NGOs, CBOs in order to find more effective ways of collaboration and coordination of their activity on gender issues.

Members of Azerbaijan "Women and Development" Centre have taken part with the Reports and Posters in more than 30 National Regional and Global Conferences and Forums on women problems in Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Russia, USA etc.

The members of AWDC are active participants of ongoing International and Global Activities and Networks, being the members of International Association for Women in Development, Asia - Pacific Watch Group, Intnl. NGO Working Group on Refugee Women, Women's Intnl. League for Peace and Freedom, Intnl. Peace Bureau, "Habitat" Super Coalition, Alliance of NIC Women Organizations, and others.

Information about AWDC is accessible from more than twenty publications in books, magazines, and newspapers, edited inside and outside the country.

All the activities of AWDC: researches, trainings, advocacy, monitoring and lobbying are continued. Azerbaijan Women are ready to develop collaboration with different Organizations of the World Community.

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