The United Nations (UN) Office in Azerbaijan and development partners launched the 16 Days Activism campaign to combat gender-based violence (GBV). This year, the campaign aims to contribute to the prevention of and response to GBV in Azerbaijan by addressing the combined impact of the armed conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh as well as the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls.

The available evidence suggests that women and girls in the conflict-affected regions represent one of the most vulnerable groups regarding GBV-related vulnerabilities, which include but are not limited to psychological trauma, displacement, loss of financial resources, and most importantly, disruption of the available GBV service provision channels. The complex interplay of these challenges forces the affected women and girls to reside in the densely populated areas with limited opportunities to self-isolate as well as access water, sanitation and basic health supplies and services, increasing their pandemic-related vulnerabilities.

As part of the 16 Days of Activism, the UN Office in Azerbaijan has joined efforts with its development partners to support government’s response and relief efforts by procurement and supply of about 400 dignity kits that include female hygiene items and COVID-19 related personal protective equipment to the displaced women. The dignity kits, will be delivered to women and girls temporarily residing in Aghdam and Terter districts. These kits will be used as entry points for providing the affected women and girls with the information on available GBV protection and support services including the national three-digit GBV hotline launched in the framework of partnership between the UN and the Government of Azerbaijan.

During the campaign days, the information materials to raise awareness on the available GBV protection mechanisms will also be shared through social media networks of the UN Office in Azerbaijan, partner organizations, as well as radio and television channels to reaffirm our commitment to building a gender equitable and violence-free society for all.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the elimination of Gender Based Violence to 10 December, the International Human Rights Day. The campaign is traditionally co-held in Azerbaijan by the United Nations Office and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.