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BAKU, 11 October 2018 – United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) named “404: Not Found” about gender-based abortion, which is dedicated to the International Day of the Girl Child. The PSA demonstrates how much girls can contribute to society if they are given a chance to born and emphasises that selective abortions are derived from gender-based discrimination and stereotypes that limit women’s participation in society.

11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl in most countries. The day, established since 2012 by the UN General Assembly decision, aims to highlight protection of the rights of girls, their access to health, education and other opportunities, as well as to increase attention to gender equality in society.

Unfortunately, the attitude towards girl child is not unambiguous in Azerbaijan. Several dominant stereotypes in society make girls undesirable in family. Although the biological norm of the gender ratio is usually 105-106, due to such attitude this number has reached 114 in Azerbaijan. If we review experiences of other countries facing the same situation, it becomes apparent that Azerbaijani society is highly likely to face various problems hard to prevent.

Thus, UNFPA has launched several projects in order to prevent gender-based abortions. Young men and fathers are involved to these projects for the first time in the country. Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Ministry of Youth and Sport and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs also support these initiatives as main partners.

UNFPA produced this video under the framework of Global Programme on “Preventing preference of boy child and promoting values of girls” with the financial support of the European Union.