"Yes, there are cases of violence against women in Azerbaijan. But this is less compared to other countries, especially European countries.”
Hijran Huseynova, chairman of the Family, Women's and Children's Affairs Committee of the Milli Majlis, said this in an interview with "pravda.az".
Fakt Yoxla examined whether this claim was true.
According to the UN Women's report, 81,000 women and girls were murdered in 2021. 45 thousand (56%) of these murders were committed by their partners and close relatives based on gender motives.
Every hour in the world, on average, more than 5 women or girls are killed by a family member. The continent with the highest number of murders is Asia (17,800 people), followed by Africa (17,200 people).
The report "Gender-related killing of women and girls" published by the UN in 2019 stated that in 2016, 13.3% of murdered women aged 15-49 in Azerbaijan were subjected to physical violence during their lifetime, and 7.7% were subjected to physical violence in the last twelve months. The death rate per 100,000 women was 1.8.
The latest statistics released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on violence against women in 2019 are presented from three different perspectives:
- Attitudes towards violence: Percentage of women who justify a husband/partner beating his wife/partner under certain circumstances;
- Cases of lifetime violence: This is an indicator of women who have been physically or sexually abused by their husband/partner at some point in their lives;
- Laws on domestic violence: Whether the legal framework provides legal protection to women against domestic violence.
Since Hijran Huseynova's claim is only related to cases of violence against women, let's take a look at the second point - i.e. "cases of lifetime violence".
There are 129 countries on the list of OECD. The percentage of cases of violence against women in Azerbaijan was 13.5, that is, it ranked 17th among the countries where cases of violence were observed less. In other words, cases of violence against women in other 112 countries are more than in Azerbaijan. 10 European countries are ahead of Azerbaijan due to the few cases of violence against women.
According to the list, Canada has the lowest rate of violence against women at 1.9%. The highest number of cases of violence against women was recorded in Afghanistan with 60.8%. Also, the cases of violence against women in Armenia and Georgia, two other countries of the South Caucasus, are observed less often than in Azerbaijan.
OECD: Countries with the lowest incidence of violence against women
The Women Peace and Security (WPS) Index is developed by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The Intimate Partner Violence sub-index is also taken into account when developing this index (3rd column from the right in the table below). In Azerbaijan, the "intimate partner violence" index is 5. Among 170 countries, the index of intimate partner violence in 24 European countries is lower than in Azerbaijan. In 7 countries, this indicator is the same as in Azerbaijan.
Countries with the highest Women Peace and Security Index and comparison of Azerbaijan with those countries.
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Women Peace and Security Index
Thus, according to the 2019 report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, cases of violence against women in Azerbaijan are more than in 10 European countries. According to the report published by the "Georgetown" Institute for Women, Peace and Security in 2021, Azerbaijan lags behind 24 European countries in terms of the "intimate partner violence" sub-index and is equal to 7 countries.
It should also be noted that the statistics of cases of violence against women in Azerbaijan are recorded by official institutions. Since there are no alternative sources of statistics, it is impossible to compare and see the real picture. In the absence of alternative sources, international organizations usually refer to official statistics.
Considering all this, Fakt Yoxla remained undecided while examining Hijran Huseynova's claim.