On October 20, in central Baku, police dispersed a rally on domestic violence against women organized by feminists.Turan

On October 20, in central Baku, police dispersed a rally on domestic violence against women organized by feminists.Turan


- Recently, Azerbaijani feminists have intensified. What do you think caused this surge? Is it possible to say that the impulses came from the West with a special purpose or is it a command of the time?

-If you answer the question of what feminism is, we can come across many definitions, but I like one definition - feminism is a loud statement that women are people too. Naturally, not everything is so simple; however, at the root of the question, especially in Azerbaijan at the present stage, the question is exactly as stated in this definition. Why has feminism been activated recently in Azerbaijan? There may be several reasons for this. The first reason is that women are subjected to violence, injustice, unequal treatment. If in our country there would be sexual, gender equality, then feminists would not have marched with these requirements. Then it would become clear that in the formation of this movement lies our unfair attitude to women, to people of a different orientation, this is not at all something imported from the West. No matter where human rights are invented, everyone has rights and freedoms and deserves them. Women's rights are also human rights. No one can tell someone "his right to retirement came from the West," just as you cannot tell women "their rights came from the West." It is possible to voice various versions of the activation of feminism in recent times. For example, the signing of the Agreement with the EU, as well as the shuffling of oligarchic groups in power, forces the government to bring down a wave of repression. As a result, there is a revival in civil society. We do not know much, but in many spheres, people organize themselves for non-commercial purposes.

- Despite the increase of feminism in Azerbaijan, the attitude towards women has not changed in the country. There is a death of women, violence against them and this continues to be a problem. Do you think feminism can help reduce these statistics?

 -In Azerbaijan, feminism is part of enlightenment. There is no violent struggle, no political representation. Enlightenment, in turn, is not something that reduces statistics. What does enlightenment do? It appeals to millions of people, finding among them, at best, and several hundred people who become the core of the next generation or the continuers of the next wave of enlightenment. This process continues until someone from this core comes to power. Until enlightenment comes to power, ideas will not be realized. This happened historically, since the opportunities for propaganda among the forces in power are much greater than those who propagandize education. Even in democratic countries, until the state satisfies the requirement of enlightenment, decisive changes do not occur throughout the country (of course, there are exceptions). In addition, in Azerbaijan the main culprit in the violation of women's rights is the state that controls it. Our laws put women in a disavowal (disadvantageous) situation, since the mechanism that enforces laws ensuring sexual equality is in a deplorable state. In a society that is guided by corruption, the principle of "who is not pan, he disappeared" the laws of the jungle work, and women are not creatures from the jungle. These are social beings whose evolution was more successful than evolution of men. They are easily crushed in a society where physical strength, men's work, torture and persecution are common. Therefore, even with the importance of the current movement of feminism, it is not in a position to accomplish such a huge task as rectifying the negative situation reflected in statistics. These are issues addressed by political power.

- Feminism annoys many people. What is the reason for this? Is it possible that in a society that calls itself feminist, this idea cannot be correctly propagated, or maybe because in Azerbaijan the majority considers this idea alien?

-One of the possibilities of the Azerbaijani society is that we are essentially an unsuccessful synthesis of East and West. For example, in a traditional Islamic society, beating a woman, having four wives, marriage at an early age, depriving women of education is not at all surprising; people can talk about it without hesitation. Although contrary to the statistical data, this is not surprising either for us, however, it is a shame to talk about it publicly, to become “famous” in society. Because our state, society was not created by the people. The creators of the republic of 1918-20 are people who were mainly elected through elections, they received education abroad, and they were very far from the traditions that lead the people into the past. The current government is illegitimate, to say nothing of the fact that it was created by the people. That is, we are not the builders of the state and society, so it has been going on for a long time. The state and society are different. We have a public atmosphere, television, a press outlet, social media discussion, button fastening of a jacket, a stand, facial expressions are artificial, as if everything is happening in the boss’s room. Since Soviet times, there has remained such a thing as a chief’s office, which has two doors. From the slit of the first door, you see that after 30 cm there is another door. Therefore, the Azerbaijanis located between these two doors corrects himself, transforms between these two worlds. He speaks down to the secretary, and gives a pen to the boss. So our people in their house behave like in a secretary’s room (now and there you will not show yourself, because there are cameras everywhere), but in society, the press, social networks, behaves like in a boss’s office. The main thing is that no one knows how you behave in the office of the boss (social networks) and in the secretary's room (in the family). Now feminists go to social networks and write that you cannot beat your wife, that men must wash dishes and more. A husband who logs into Facebook sees his wife reading the same thing. Then at home, he applies discrimination against his wife, although in social networks he speaks with a completely different person. However, it becomes known that in social networks he is dishonored, at least in front of those with whom he did these outrages. Naturally, he becomes annoyed, immediately begins to assert that the men who preach feminism are not men at all, and the women of the feminists are dissolute. All this is exported by the West, the United States wants to destroy our families, so they invent everything. All because he doesn’t want to wash the dishes, doesn’t want to watch the child, doesn’t want to hang up clothes, doesn’t want to come home on time, wants to hurt unfamiliar women, use paid sex services, but he demands the opposite from his wife, from his mother, from the daughter. The reason for this is very simple. He does not want to share power and his comfort. Feminism is an idea of ​​human rights; therefore, it is akin to all societies. Starting from the primitive tribes living in Amazonia to Scandinavia. It is related to us. The society of modern man, human rights and freedoms, the concept of a decent life is not alien to feminism, but patriarchal thinking.

- Recently, an action of feminists took place in the center of Baku. Prior to this, feminists were not given the opportunity to conduct a street procession. However, this time, violence was first used against the protesters, and then conditions were created for it. What is the reason for this attitude to the protesters?

- To be honest, largely, permission was given to the rally of the National Council, but not to the march of feminists. Maybe the difference is not significant. Because our government understands better than we do that any meeting, rally, procession are political actions. It makes no difference whether the National Council or the feminists. The fact is that freedom of assembly itself is a political phenomenon. It is possible that at the current stage of softening political life, they are associated with the signing of an agreement with the EU, and as a result, any action will end with a similar result - a little pressure, a bit of permission, a little torture, etc. Of course, you can discuss the issue that forms the attitude of the authorities towards freedom of assembly; it is just not the topic of our current conversation. I think that the attitude to the actions of feminists was softer than to other actions. If feminists could take as many people to the streets as the National Council brought, then the attitude would be completely the same. On this issue, the authorities do not make a difference - to all those who wish to exercise their rights and freedoms, the authorities are approximately equally hostile. The issue of women's rights is in itself a political one. Men who beat their wives at home came to politics.

-One of the requirements of the last action is connected with the accession of Azerbaijan to the Istanbul Convention. Authorities have responded to this question. What does this Istanbul Convention mean? What will Azerbaijan gain by joining it?

-The full name of the document called the Istanbul Convention is “Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention and Combating Violence and Domestic Violence against Women”. This document was adopted by PACE, and on May 26, 2011 it was declared open in Istanbul for signing. The Istanbul Convention includes provisions on violence against women, measures to protect victims of domestic violence, preventive measures, holding these perpetrators accountable, and improving national legislation to ensure effective protection, and so on. Of the CE member countries, only Russia and Azerbaijan have not ratified this convention. The Istanbul Convention is the first international legal instrument to address violence against women and domestic violence. Moreover, this document is not a statement, it is a convention, that is, and the obligations it engenders are binding on the states that have ratified this convention. In order to fulfill these obligations, Azerbaijan must amend its legislation, criminalize domestic violence, be responsible for the persecution, and in an effective form, various measures must be implemented before organizing shelters. In Azerbaijan, without exception, there is a corrupt management regime; therefore, it is not beneficial for them to create an effective working system. In addition, domestic violence helps authorities keep populations under pressure. Fifty one per cent of the country's population are women. That is, more than half of the population are under continuous pressure, and most are even subjected to psychological and physical cruelty. If there are 3-4 obstacles for the son to go to the rally, then there are 30-40 of them for the daughter to go to the rally. Depriving women of their education, deliberately reducing the quality of the education system for decades is a power practice accepted with love.

-If Azerbaijan joins the Istanbul Convention, it will be forced to take effective steps to solve all these problems; as a result, we will be able to move much further towards ensuring human rights. In your opinion, what measures should be taken to ensure equality between men and women in Azerbaijan, the normal protection of women's rights, and the suppression of domestic violence. What is missing in this area?

- Two directions can be traced here - civil society and the state. Members of civil society should self-organize in the field of feminism, the protection of women's rights, and should determine the strategy. However, as I noted earlier, education in this area will not lead to major changes, but rather will be aimed at transmitting vigilance from generation to generation regarding this problem. The main responsibility for the state. The Istanbul Convention, as I noted earlier, must be ratified. However, it is impossible to wait for the Istanbul Convention without noticing problems. In order to prevent violence against women in Azerbaijan, the implementation of two urgent issues is necessary: ​​firstly, difficulties in issuing protection orders to women should be resolved. Such a warrant must be issued to every woman in need of protection. Disagreements regarding the issue of warrants should be resolved in favor of women. Secondly, shelters for women should be organized; in particular, regions should not be left without control. In addition, domestic violence should be criminalized; law enforcement officers should be involved in training on investigating crimes of domestic violence, as well as issuing a protection order. Articles should be added to the Penal Code, which would punish such crimes as intentional homicide, intentionally causing harm to health, the motive of which is domestic violence. The state itself, through all means at its disposal, should educate on the issue of discrimination against women, in areas where discrimination based on sex is particularly evident, it is necessary to introduce a quota among workers. There is a lot of work, just for its implementation there must be political will. If available, useful suggestions will be put forward, many people will appear who can implement these proposals.

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