On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, UNO Baku, jointly with the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) and State Agency for public Service and Social Innovations (ASAN Service), held a roundtable discussion on the importance of empowering girls and ensuring their human rights.
The event took place at the IEPF’s training centre located at the Head Office in Baku on 10 October, bringing together students, journalists, and representatives of civil society including the SOS Family Strengthening Program.
The event started with opening remarks and a brief history about the Day followed by a short video featuring the activities of the United Nations in empowering girls and women. The UN Secretary-General’s message was then read which said in part, “We must go beyond raising awareness and take action to equip girls with knowledge, skills, resources and power to determine their own path in life”.
“Providing girls with education is important, because it is the only way we can empower girls to reach their full potential,” said Vusala Karimova, ASAN Service employee, while sharing her success stories of joining the Paralympic Games, with participants. The event inspired other female participants to share their stories of what it meant to grow up as a girl in Azerbaijan.
“More than 20 years have passed since Azerbaijan got its independence, now we see more and more women leaders in the Government and public sector, which is very promising for a sustainable future,” said Elnara Mammadova, a young journalist who mainly focuses on covering gender issues and disabled people in her articles.
Following the remarks from the ASAN representatives, the Director of the IEPF, Umud Mirzayev, informed the participants about how his organization has been working to bring out support for women into the regions of Azerbaijan where resources and services are scarce.
“We have held several projects in different regions of Azerbaijan to empower adolescent girls and women with different skills for potential employment. The main aim of our projects is to improve women’s living standards and financial situation”. He also mentioned that financially independent women are less dependent on their husbands. He added, “An empowered woman brings sustainability to her family’s welfare and sets an example of dignity and justice for all members of society”.
Upon closing remarks, the UNO Baku team expressed their gratitude to all the participants and urged the need for more active future cooperation in upcoming events related to gender issues.