The Forum is an initiative in collaboration with the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre that consists in two different Conferences on Azerbaijan. One on women’s empowerment in Ganja, where Mr. Kok made the welcome, and one on Shared Societies in Baku. Mr. Kok focused on the theme of women’s empowerment, particularly on how Azerbaijan is advancing an agenda of women’s empowerment, how the country is integrating their voices and their rights within the broader population, and what positive lessons can Azerbaijan learn from other countries.
“Today, many post-soviet countries are experiencing difficult political transitions, especially in the Caucasus region, including tensions regarding territorial integrity. Their democratic development is therefore a complex process. In Azerbaijan, women and men are guaranteed the same legal rights, but social norms and a lack of education and economic development –mainly in rural areas- inhibit women’s equal participation in politics and in the economy, and gender discrimination has prevented some women from fully exercising their legal rights”, said Mr. Kok.
As a main output of the conference in Ganja, and drawing on the unique democratic leadership and transitional experience of Club de Madrid Members and the organization’s previous work on women’s empowerment in various regions, Mr. Kok announced that a project -aimed at contributing to women’s empowerment in the South Caucasus- is being identified by the Club de Madrid to start working in Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan this year. “There is no democracy or justice that can leave aside 50% of the population”, he stated.
Mr. Kok also reminded that the Club de Madrid has addressed and strengthened over the years women’s political participation and leadership in countries like Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda.