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In today’s world, gaps in wealth have grown shockingly wide. Billions of people linger at the bottom, denied their human rights and prospects for a better life. At the top, resources and privileges accrue at explosive rates, pushing the world ever further from the vision of equality embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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This annual report shows how funds entrusted to UNFPA have enabled us to protect and promote the health and rights of millions of women and young people and enable them to realize their full potential.
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10 - How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age

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Shelter From the Storm: A transformative agenda for women and girls in a crisis-prone world

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It was not until early 1990s when the Nobel Prize winning Indian economist Amartya Sen first introduced the concept of “missing women” thus sparking series of decades-long debates and studies to explore the trends in gender bias in mortality among the population in Asia. The phenomenon included the widespread instances of gender biased sex selection aimed at ensuring the birth of a male offspring to satisfy the traditional patriarchal aspirations of local communities.

While for a long while it was believed that these practices were solely restricted to such countries as China and India, the PACE Resolution 1829 (2011) on prenatal sex selection targeted other countries too including the Republic of Azerbaijan where the skewed ratios at birth have“ reached worrying proportions.” Such a ratio of male to female population is an alarming indicator and the outnumbering is believed to be caused by some form of external intervention. The available research shows that similar imbalance could theoretically be due to series of factors inclusive of under-enumeration, series of biological factors, or deliberate action in the form of sex selection abortion.

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Pursuant to paragraph 5.2.7.3 of the State Program on “Poverty
Reduction and Sustainable Development in the Republic of
Azerbaijan for 2008-2015”, approved by the Decree № 3043 of
the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, dated September 15,
2008, the State Statistical Committee of the Republic of
Azerbaijan conducted sample statistical survey on violence against the person
between the dates of 2-20 September 2013 across the urban and rural areas of all
regions of the country aimed at obtaining detailed information about the violence
against the person.
The report contains the information on preparation, conduction, and analysis of the
results of the sample statistical survey on violence against the person.
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In 1994 the international community agreed that when women and girls get the education they deserve,
societies become more productive; when their rights are protected, societies become more just; and when they
are empowered to make choices to determine their own future, societies become much stronger. Since then, many
actors in both the local and international arena including governments, national human rights institutions, and UN
agencies, with UNFPA taking a leading role, have tenaciously strived to translate the Cairo framework1 into action;
to foster meaningful and sustainable changes for ensuring improved protection and promotion of human rights of
the women and girls worldwide.
However, despite these efforts, many women are still deprived of the opportunity to enjoy their sexual and
reproductive rights, which constitute an inalienable component of the highest attainable standard of health and
well-being. These rights have long been overlooked given the complex interplay of individual, institutional and
structural factors depriving women of the opportunity to make informed decisions concerning their sexuality as
well as exposing them to otherwise avoidable risks of mortality and morbidity.
Given that the country’s human rights record on sexual and reproductive health and rights has been of
concern, the UNFPA Azerbaijan Country Office joined efforts with the Office of the Commissioner for Human
Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to conduct an assessment of the implementation status of
treaty body recommendations on sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is expected that the findings of this
study will enormously contribute to strengthening respective advocacy strategies with Government partners, civil
society and other allies to advance the protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The
support provided by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan prof. Elmira
Suleymanova throughout all stages of the project is particularly acknowledged.
It should be acknowledged that the present report has immensely benefited from the support of many
institutions and experts.
The assessment document was developed by the international consultant on human rights and sexual and
reproductive health, Judith Bueno de Mesquita and the national experts Parvana Bayramova and Rashid Rumzada
who collected the necessary data and information for the research as well as provided important insights during
data analysis.
Special thanks are due to Alfonso Barragues, Technical Advisor on Human Rights and Ida Krogh Mikkelsen,
Programme Analyst from the Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch, both of the United Nations Population
Fund, for reviewing the drafts of the document and providing valuable advice and inputs to the report.
The contributions of the representatives of government institutions and civil society, who shared their opinions
in the course of data collection and thus significantly enriched the present report by contributing to the development
of informed policy recommendations, are also greatly acknowledged.
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