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Women are closely involved in development processes in Azerbaijan

Interview with  Deputy chairwoman of YAP Women`s Council, MP Sevinj Huseynova

Q: A couple of days ago YAP Women`s Council held its all-republican conference. What is the importance of the conference in terms of increasing women`s socio-political activity?

A: Women make more than 40 percent of the whole number of members of the New Azerbaijan Party. It`s no coincidence that all leading women figures and intellectuals in the Azerbaijani society are members of YAP.

As far as the activity of our women in socio-political processes in the country, I think it is growing.

National leader Heydar Aliyev had always attached particular importance to solving women`s problems, trying to ensure that they always receive respect , care and attention in the society.

The national leader always said that women were the driving force of the society.

As you know the fifth Congress of the New Azerbaijan Party elected president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva as deputy chairwoman of YAP. This was a very remarkable event for all our women. At the same time, this means additional responsibility for us because Mehriban Aliyev is a model to follow for Azerbaijani women.

The problem of gender balance is in the spotlight of the whole world. UN, Council of Europe and other international organizations are very sensitive towards advocating women`s rights. Today, leader of the Azerbaijan women`s movement, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, MP, UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva is able to contribute to global issues. At her initiative, major projects concerning healthcare, children`s health, education are being implemented in the country.

Q: YAP Women`s Council is implementing various projects. Will this continue in the future?

A: The activities of women in the party were the major issue on the agenda of the republican conference of the Women`s Council. Taking the opportunity I would like to thank the leadership of the party for their confidence in me, and I will try my best to justify their hopes.

YAP Women`s Council is carrying out several important projects. And it is possible to expand the scope of these projects in the future.

The Women`s Council is also actively participating in the elections. This issues occupies a special place in our plan of action for 2014 as the country will hold municipal election at the end of the year.

You know that women`s participation in municipal elections has increased from 3-4 percent to 30 percent.

Q:  Azerbaijan is today experiencing rapid development in all spheres of life. How do you assess the government`s social policy?

A: The country`s social policy saw the improvement of the population`s living standards, and decrease in poverty level. Hundreds of jobs have been created in the last few years. Azerbaijan renewed its social system, and conducted successful reforms. Considerable measures have been taken to strengthen social security of the population.

A number of very important laws and orders were adopted in the country in this sector. They mostly focused on strengthening the social security of invalids, shahid families and veterans of the Garabagh war. One of our biggest achievements over the past 10 years is that the poverty level dropped from 50 to 6% and the level of unemployment to 5.2%.

This proves that the progress and development observed in Azerbaijan over the past years had a direct positive impact on the improvement of people’s welfare. Major projects for the settlement of infrastructural issues in social sphere are being implemented in Azerbaijan. The implementation of these projects, undoubtedly, produces a positive effect.

Q: Azerbaijan is carrying out the state program on the socio-economic development of the regions. We would like you speak of what has been done under the program in Gadabay region?

A: The implementation of these two programs has changed the image of regions, served to prevent the non-proportional development of the country's largest cities and regions. Within both programs the efficient use of region's natural resources and labor resources concentrated in regions, opening of new jobs, solving social problems, development of entrepreneurship, the reconstruction of the existing infrastructure was realized. The problems of electricity supply were overcome; gas supply reached 95 per cent. Processing and production capacity in the region was strengthened in the regions. The flow from regions to capital for job search was reduced.

The implementation of state programs under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev for the socio-economic development over the past 10 years greatly reduced the dependence of Azerbaijan’s economy on oil. The image of regions was changed and it played an important role in the overall development of the country.

In Gadabay, a number of secondary schools have been built. The road infrastructure is now being renovated. The major highway in our region was completely remodeled. Several roads are being built to link villages to each other. We have a gold producing plant in Gadabay. The facility plays a crucial role in strengthening the country`s gold reserves. Considerable work has been done to improve the power and gas supply in the region.