(Exclusive Interview by Dr Shahid Qureshi – Chief Editor):-
Honourable Sevinj Fataliyeva, MP is Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee at Parliament of Republic of Azerbaijan. She came to London to attend a world Women congress at the British Parliament. She and other MPs were discussing Empowering women leaders, how can women MPs be as effective & powerful as possible in their parliaments.
1 – Please tell us about this conference you are attending in London?
The women MPs of the world conference were dedicated to the issues that all women parliamentarians are facing today and fighting for: what is to be a woman in politics, how to overcome obstacles in this way, how to become effective, how to empower women to be more represented in politics. Also we discussed education of girls, violence against women, economic empowerment of women and how to manage a political career with a family. The conference united strong women of almost all the continents, different religions, different cultures, different paths of gaining their rights BUT sharing the same values and similar challenges.
2 – Will you be using learning from this conference in Azerbaijan and what will they?
Women all over the world are always fighting for being more represented in politics, for equal rights. In Azerbaijan this year we celebrate 100th anniversary of women granting right to vote and to be elected. So, our story of Women rights may be considered as a success story. But definitely the experience of other countries is very valuable. I think the red ribbon of all discussions was the idea that regardless the geography or nationality women need to be more self-confident, we always need to prove that even having a family a woman can be dedicated to work as men are. We need more trust and eliminate discrimination on gender aspect.
3 – What are your thoughts on British women MPs in the politics?
I think British women MPs are very dedicated to their struggle for the equal rights. It is a really decent example of possibility to be a successful politician, a mother, a role model for the others.
4 – How is gender balance in Azerbaijani politics and women general?
As I said women rights in Azerbaijan have a long history which is very valuable for us which is preserved and developed day by day.
100 years ago, a very progressive decision was made ahead of time in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic – for the first time in the Muslim East women, along with men, received the right to elect and be elected.
Traditionally women have been more represented in the spheres of education, science, health and culture. But today due to the state support the number of female civil servants, law enforcement officers, politicians, public figures are growing. The 1st Vice President of the country is woman, the number of female MPs are growing. There is no sphere of activity closed or banned for women in Azerbaijan. Women rights are provided by the constitution and are reflected in the state policy. That’s why what we need is a desire of women.