Summer camp organized by UNFPA to address gender-biased sex selection ended

Baku, August 6, AZERTAC

A summer camp titled “For a better future built on equal opportunities”, co-organized with the Azerbaijani Youth Foundation for young people in the city of Shamakhi, within the framework of the EU-funded “Global Program to Prevent Son Preference and the Undervaluing of Girls” implemented by the UNFPA Azerbaijan Country Office jointly with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs and Ministry of Youth and Sports, came to an end.

Held on July 29 – August 3, the summer camp gathered about 40 boys and girls aged 16-22 from the Baku and several regions of the country. The main objective of the event was to contribute to preventive efforts addressing gender inequalities and the phenomenon of gender-biased sex selection favoring male population in Azerbaijan, through training and sensitizing youth to promote the value of a girl child.

The event started with the opening remarks, delivered by the representatives of the above-mentioned government authorities, who spoke about the current situation with respect to gender, as well as the problems and challenges persisting in this sphere in the country. Mentioning the problem of the skewed sex ratio in Azerbaijan, Natig Alizade from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population emphasized that the biological norm of the sex ratio ranges from 102-106 males to 100 females. “However, starting from early 1990s, the sex ratio at birth started to climb with an increased share of boys in the structure of live-born infants and the current sex ratio is 114 boys to every 100 girls born in the country,” Alizade noted.

Aynur Veysalova from the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs mentioned that the problem of gender-biased sex selection is one of the forms of gender discrimination. According to Veysalova, the Azerbaijani government is taking necessary actions to address this negative situation.

The agenda of the 5-day camp comprised training sessions on the topics of gender-biased sex selection, gender discrimination and gender-based violence, distribution of responsibilities within a family, etc. To demonstrate groundlessness of the gender stereotypes prevailing in the society, as well as to motivate youth for changes, successful young women engaged in social entrepreneurship and sports were invited to share their success stories with the attendees of the camp. Throughout trainings, the young participants also were given primary knowledge about developing and managing projects and performed some practical exercises on drafting projects related to gender and related themes. Staging the obtained knowledge and information in the form of social theatre plays and other interactive performances, the youngsters have demonstrated capability and readiness to carry out public advocacy efforts related to gender problems within their communities in the future.

During the camp period, an information session dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations was also organized, where the participants were informed about the role of women empowerment in achieving the SDGs.

The camp was concluded with presenting of the certificates of attendance to the participants by the representatives of the UNFPA Azerbaijan country office.

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