Series of femicides sparks protest campaign on Azerbaijani social media
Over the past five days, more than ten women in Azerbaijan have been brutally murdered or beaten in cases of domestic violence – and these are only the cases that hit the media.
This has given rise to a protest campaign under the hash tag #QadinaŞiddətəYox (#NoViolence against Women).
Who is guilty and what is to be done? Discussion on social media
Most of all, the public was shocked by the murder of Leyla Mammadova. During a quarrel, her husband stabbed her 25 times. This happened in Baku, right on the street, in front of their young children and passers-by.
Domestic violence against women is a problem widespread throughout Azerbaijan, and involves not only a woman’s husband, but other family members – including, for example, mothers-in-law, uncles or cousins.
The reason is often jealousy or dissatisfaction with the behavior of women.
Some comments from Facebook:
“Domestic violence has always existed in Azerbaijan, but mainly in the provinces. It’s just that now all these people have moved to the capital, and therefore such cases have become public and are seeping into the media.”
“Cruelty has no gender. We need to fight against cruelty per se, and not just against women.”
“Probably, decades of enlightenment are needed to get this medieval dreg out of their heads and lives. But where does it come from, this enlightenment?”
“The patriarchal stance in Azerbaijan is maintained thanks to women who are so comfortable [with it]. And they educate a generation that is indifferent to this hell. And even strict government measures will not change anything.”
What can the government do?
Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition REAL party, Ilgar Mammadov, believes that it is the state that should take measures to solve this problem.
In particular, Mammadov says the state should finally sign the Istanbul Convention – an international agreement of the Council of Europe against violence against women and domestic violence.
The Convention entered into force on 1 August 2014. Currently, it has been signed by about 50 countries, including Georgia and Armenia.
Officials also spoke on this subject.
MP Aytan Mustafayeva in her speech at the parliamentary meeting said “When Leyla’s husband killed her, no one came to her aid. People just looked and shot [this event] on their phone. This is terrible. Where are we going?! I believe that very serious changes should be made to the legislation and be made tougher.”
43% of women in Azerbaijan have experienced domestic violence, according to the human rights organization Advocates for Human Rights.
Azerbaijan has a law on the prevention of domestic violence, adopted in 2010. But in fact, this law practically does not work, because even the police often consider domestic violence “an internal family affair”.
This project is funded through the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, U.S. Embassy Tbilisi. The contents of this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of State.