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Every year, millions of girls around the world are subjected to practices that harm them physically and emotionally, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends, and communities, according to the State of World Population 2020, released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

At least 19 harmful practices, ranging from breast ironing to virginity testing, are considered human rights violations, according to the UNFPA report, which focuses on the three most prevalent ones: female genital mutilation, child marriage, and extreme bias against daughters in favour of sons.

We have the power to defy the forces that perpetuate harm and to realize a world where every woman and girl is free to chart her own future. To find out more, please check the State of World Population Report.

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This technical brief document, prepared by the UNFPA headquarters, reflects a gender glance at COVID-19 pandemics.

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This country report was prepared within the frame of the EU-funded Global Programme to Prevent Son Preference and the Undervaluing of Girls: Improving the sex ratio at birth in select countries in Asia and the Caucasus.

Developed on the evidence-based data, the report contains information on the current situation with respect to the gender-biased sex selection phenomenon in the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as the most recent country statistics related to this topic.  

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This report presents an analytical overview of the modern demographic situation and trends in population
developments of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the early 21st century. It is intended for a wide audience,
primarily decision-makers at various government levels, monitoring specialists in the socio-economic
sector, and civil society organisations involved in the provision and protection of social rights. The
content of the report may also be of interest to the academic staff and students of higher and secondary
schools specialising in population issues and the demographic aspect of socio-economic development of
Azerbaijan.
The importance of the analytical report on demographic situation is explained by the fact that the
correlation between population and resources is the major determinant of the economic potential and
social stability of any country. Changes in population size, age structure, spatial distribution and mobility
are critical for long-term socio-economic development.
This is an independent publication commissioned by UNFPA and UNDP. The views expressed in this
publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including
UNFPA and UNDP, or its Member States.

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CHOICE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
It can rapidly improve the well-being of
women and girls, transform families and
societies, and accelerate global development.
The extent to which couples and individuals
have real choices about whether and
when to have children, and how many
children to have, also has a direct impact
on fertility levels. Where people are able to
make these decisions for themselves, they
tend to choose smaller families. Where
choices are constrained, they tend to
have families that are either large or very
small, sometimes with no children at all.
No country can yet claim to have made
reproductive rights a reality for all. Choices
are limited for far too many women. And
this means that there are still millions
of people who are having more—or
fewer—children than they would like, with
implications not only for individuals, but also
for communities, institutions, economies,
labour markets and entire nations.
For some, the pursuit of reproductive
rights is thwarted by health systems that
fail to provide essential services, such
as contraceptives. For others, economic
barriers, including poor-quality, lowpaying
jobs and an absence of childcare,
make it next to impossible to start or
expand a family. Underlying these and
other obstacles is persistent gender
inequality, which denies women the power
to make fundamental decisions in life.
In the 1994 Programme of Action of the
International Conference on Population and
Development, governments committed to
enabling people to make informed choices
about their sexual and reproductive health as
a matter of fundamental human rights. Now,
almost 25 years later, this continues to require
ensuring that individuals have access to the
means to decide freely and responsibly the
number, spacing and timing of their children.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development reinforces these principles
by making reproductive health and rights
a specific aim. In fact, reproductive rights
are integral to realizing all the Sustainable
Development Goals. THAT IS THE
POWER OF CHOICE.
The way forward is the full realization
of reproductive rights, for every individual
and couple, no matter where or how they
live, or how much they earn. This includes
dismantling all the barriers—whether
economic, social or institutional—that
inhibit free and informed choice.
In the end, our success will not just come in
reaching what we imagine is ideal fertility. The
real measure of progress is people themselves:
especially the well-being of women and girls,
their enjoyment of their rights and full equality,
and the life choices that they are free to make.
Dr. Natalia Kanem
Executive Director
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

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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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This report presents the findings of the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the
mechanisms leading to the skewed sex ratios at birth in Azerbaijani population. The
study was held by UNFPA Azerbaijan Country Office and the State Committee for
Family, Women and Children’s Affairs in 2012. In addition to being the first initiative
exclusively dedicated to the exploration of the prevalence rates and major causes
of the phenomenon of sex selection abortions, the present report provides the
series of recommendations to guide the respective state intervention to address the issue.
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