A policy brief for the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture & Creativity Programme.

The Milli Majlis (The National Assembly of Azerbaijan) has adopted legislation that combats gender-based and sexual orientation-based violence and defends vulnerable groups.

These non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive laws are the first step to challenge discriminatory social institutions.

However, laws challenging entrenched acceptance of discriminatory social norms by communities towards gender equality are only the first stage of implementing change.

One aspect of gender discrimination is sex selective abortion. Azerbaijan has one of the highest selective abortion rates in the world, according to government figures, with many Azerbaijani women choosing or being pressured into aborting female fetuses by their families. The problem is particularly acute in small villages and towns. The expected birth sex ratio range is 103:107 males to females, but in Azerbaijan the ratio was 115:100 in 2014.

This policy brief considers three options for tackling this issue:

Option 1: Status Quo

Option 2: Introduction of Theatre for Development Programmes to tackle Gender Awareness

Option 3: Increase Ministry of Education"s Gender Awareness Programmes


1. Ministry of Education should explore how to initiate a pilot Theatre for Development workshop to test and review this new methodology together in 2017 through social research, including surveys, interviews with schoolchildren.

2. Y-PEER Azerbaijan proposes to select Buzovna village on the outskirts of Baku as a pilot city owing to the reason that Buzovna can be considered as one of the vulnerable places stereotypes that enforce patriarchy are widespread wherein. 

3. The Ministry of Education can enhance the efficiency of the initiative through active involving.

Policy brief (EN)

Other interesting stories: