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are the special issues (printed analogues were distributed in regions), shining{covering} about debatable problems gender theories, gender attitudes and relations in the most different areas of a public life. The research data resulted editions in a significant part are made by advisers of AGIC


In this section the gender researches are presented. The researches have been realized by the Azerbaijan authors with 1998 on present time


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Women's political life in Islam

Elshad MIRI

No society can exist without State, just no individual can exist without society. The purpose of creation of human being as individual is to serve for Allah. For realization of this purpose the life, property, faith, thinking, family and honour of individual need to be protected. Their protection is possible just within the framework of an integrated system based on the State and the rule of law. Government without ruler is as impossible as State without head. The points concerning whether woman can be the head of the State, if Islam gives woman such a right, if she can run for elections, if she has the right to elect and to be elected, turn out to be points at issue.

If we look at the life of the Prophet Muhammad, we become witness of different relations proving that women played an important role in country's public life in the Prophet's time. As the Messenger of Allah asked advice from his wife Khadija, interested with her opinion, and even consulted with her concerning public issues, it is possible to make conclusion that woman was regarded as a political figure. For instance, the Messenger of Allah was respectful to the decision of Ummi Hani, the daughter of the uncle of the Prophet Abu Talib, relating pardon of one of the mushriks (a person, associating others with Allah) on the day of the conquest of Mecca. Caliph Umar at the time of his ruling asked advice from the wives of the Prophet, and also from the women, not being the wives of the Prophet, for example, Shifa Khatun whose opinion was important for him. They all are rights granted to women in government and political life.

Women's Right to elect and to be elected

The Qur'an has not any aya impeding women to elect and to be elected. Otherwise, in connection with that in history of Islam, even when the Prophet Muhammad was alive, there were many evidences of this right of women. In early Islam the Head of State was elected with help of Bai'at (i.e. the oath of fealty till death that had been given by associates of the Prophet Muhammad under a tree Hudaibiya when they heard Uthman ibn Affan was killed by Quraish) that was a truly sign-post for the Believers: it showed the solidarity of Islam, and the position which the Muslims had won in the Arab world. Bai'at was a treaty cited tasks and responsibilities of Muslim women and men towards the leader, their sincere agreement with Islamic laws in respect to each other and political power in order to discharge commands of the Qur'an and Hadith. One of the revaya (version of hadith) of the followers of the Prophet Muhammad says: "The Messenger of Allah concluded a treaty with women as well as with us (men)."

The Qur'an commands the Prophet Muhammad to conclude a treaty with women: "Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the oath of fealty to thee, that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatever with God, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood, and that they will not disobey thee in any just matter, then do thou receive their fealty, and pray to God for the forgiveness (of their sins): for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!" (Mumtahana, 12).

The Qur'an has ayat which command to take the oath of fealty with women as well with men: "Then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfills what he has covenanted with God, God will soon grant him a great Reward!" (Fat-h, 10). "God's Good Pleasure was on the Believers when they swore Fealty to thee under the Tree: He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down Tranquility to them; and He rewarded them with a speedy Victory" (Fat-h,18).

In contrast to first and second Bai'at-e-Aqaba, these ayat were sent down during the Medina period. It demonstrates that the Prophet per se was already the Head of Medina and the aya was partly political. It gives grounds to assume that at that time women actually played an active role in political life.

Women in Government

Some lawyers assume that women cannot be at the head of State. They explain their standpoints that woman is not able to fulfill the privilege of the head of state, particularly in early Islam when a ruler was obliged to be in charge of troops, to preach khutba (sermon) that delivered every Friday, before the Friday prayers and to call to salat. But in connection with that the Qur'an does not cite any restrictions. Thus, a woman ruler can give necessary instructions to men, to call upon to pray and to lead the troops. Those who became firmly convinced of that woman cannot be politician, particularly the head of state, adduced as evidence the Hadith of the Prophet, saying that "the people governed by woman cannot be saved."

As it mentioned, Abu Bakr, a follower of the Prophet, informed in due time that the Messenger of Allah cited this Hadith when he knew that the head of Iran became the daughter of Kisra, the Iranian king called Boran. To understand rightly the Hadith it is necessary to know prerequisites and historical reasons of this saying. In addition, the Hadith does not express common rule but concerns the destiny of certain society of that time. It is known that the Iranian ruler eliminated the Prophet's letter sent to him, in consequence of that the Messenger of Allah said about them: "May they be killed." When the Prophet heard that the government passed into the hands of woman, He said that they would not be saved. Thus, the Hadith does not concern views relating prohibition of government by women. As Muhammad Hamidullah, one of the distinguished Muslim scholars said, the mentioned saying relates the Empire of Sasanid.

It should be remembered that in early Islam, as well as in following periods women were not far from politics. Thus, women took the oath of fealty to the Messenger of Allah equally with his followers. The historical sources confirm taking the oath of fealty Aqaba and Bai'at-e-Rizwan by women. Even if after the death of Umar, the second caliph, Abdurrahman bin Auf who met and consulted with persons of consequence of Medina in order to determine next caliph, had asked the opinion of women equally with men. In this case, the role of wives of the Prophet in political life of Medina can be exemplified.

In early years of Ali's caliphate, Aisha's political role in developments resulted in the battle of Jamal (the battle of Camel) serve as the best example of women's political role. Aisha who resettled from Medina to Mecca after the death of Uthman, the third caliph, trying to take his death revenge on offenders, had developed troops and was its head. In Battle of the Camel (Jamal) Aisha was in the charge of the Army as well as a political leader. Several thousands of people joined the battle. No one had a grudge against woman domination. In this case, Aisha exemplified what Muslim woman is able to do.

The Qur'an cites the following command of Allah: "The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe, regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour his mercy: for God is exalted in power, Wise" (Tauba, 71).

The aya saying "they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe" concerns the believers, men and women. The women have the right to fulfill this function in all fields including government. If we perceive women as a creature with her cultural wealth equal to man, we can say that she can be a ruler as man.

The sura "Naml" of the Holy Qur'an cites the relations between the Queen of Sheba called Bilqis and Solomon. The ayat say that "the Queen of Sheba ruled over and provided with every requisite; and she had a magnificent throne. But her people were worshipping the sun besides God." To experience this people Solomon sent them a letter. When the Queen of Sheba read the letter and she called nobility, informing that she got a very important letter, starting "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion)." The nobility said that "they are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command." Then she said: "Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest thus do they behave. But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors." Bilqis stands the test. She knows it was her throne, yet not exactly the same, for it was now much better. And she is proud of her good fortune, and acknowledges, for herself and her people, with gratitude, the light which was given to them by God, by which they recognized God's apostle in Solomon, and received the true Religion with all their will and heart and soul.

As evident from aya, Bilqis demonstrates a model government. In spite in his letter Solomon threatened her people, she acted with prudence and logically, preferring to solve the problem through alternative way, against the will of her noblest.

Albeit it was pre-Islam event, it was cited in the Qur'an in order to serve as an example. The aya has neither reproach, nor critique concerning woman ruler. Quite the contrary, this fact is cited as an example.

The scholars guided by the mentioned ayat of the Holy Qur'an note that women also can be the head of the state.

The example cited in the Qur'an and historical sources prove that throughout the history there were a few women-politicians, women-rulers and women-commanders-in-chief. Islamic history also has such examples.

For instance, Hurra as-Suleyhiyya from the Suleyhiyya dynasty, at first, inter vivos of her husband ruled over Yemen, and then after his death she had personal leadership.

In Dehli, after death of Sultan Shamsaddin Iltutmush in 1236, his daughter Raziyya Bagum was at the head of the State in four years.

The fact of death of Al-Malikus Salih Najmaddin Ayyub, the ruler of the Ayyubid dynasty who had been killed in war with crusaders was kept back till the end of the war, and then Turan Shah came to the throne. But the commanders did not recognize him as ruler. Thus, Sajaruddur, the wife of Najmaddin Ayyub became the head of the State. The prayer in behalf of her was read and money was coined.

In addition, Zahida Khatun, the wife of Bozaba Turkic ruler, and Abish Khatun, the last ruler of Salgur State can be exemplified.

All the mentioned gives the ground to say that in Islam, woman can be a political adviser, head of the executive power, member of Parliament, minister, Prime Minister and Head of the State.

AGIC promotes creating the history of civil society and those initiations by studying womans public activity in the end of XIX - the beginning of XX centuries. The collection of the visual evidences and oral reminiscences allows not only to recalled the events, become utterly absorbed in the atmosphere that reigned at that time but also to comprehend, understand how and what efforts were demanded for establishing of Caucasus womens rights. The information collected here will serve also as a supporting material for teachers, historians and researchers working in the sphere of womans and gender problems. They will get an opportunity of using these unique documents as historical references, visual and oral evidences.


The European Womens Thesaurus is the tool for definition and search of the "female" information in databanks, the Internet and the collection of womens libraries, the documentary centers and archives. The European Womens Thesaurus contains 2087 European terms.

In the Azerbaijan version of the Thesaurus are brought 589 terms reflecting sociopolitical realities of the Azerbaijan society, national and Islamic culture.


is the data-base of all the national actors involved in women's and gender issues work. The data base supposes to include the gender focal points: State agencies, National parliament, Business sector, Mass media outlets, International organizations, functioning in Azerbaijan, Funding institutions, functioning in Azerbaijan,Diplomatic corps, functioning in Azerbaijan, the individual actors (individual feminists, writers and poets, artists, scientific womens rights lawyers). Attention! The directory is connected by links to databases of womens NGOs (both registered and non-registered), NGOs carrying out gender projects, researchers and teachers.


In Azerbaijan by initiative of the President Ilham Aliev in accordance with Presidential Decree dated by 6 of February 2006 State Committee on Family, Women and Children issues has been established. Chairwoman of the Committee is Mrs. Khidjran Guseynova. She is the professor of the Baku State University and the first woman- the doctor of political sciences in Azerbaijan


The section presents the international documents on achievement of equality between men and women and protection of human rights for women.


The section presents the international documents on achievement of equality between men and women and protection of human rights for women.


The database base of womens NGOs includes the registered and unregistered organizations, womens f groups. Attention! There arent practically precisely profile NGOs in Azerbaijan. For completeness of the information search is recommended to realize by several key words


The database represents the information about the international and national projects on gender problems for the period 1998-2007. Search is carried out both by thematic key words and under names of NGOs

Human Rights in the XXI Century - Azerbaijan

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Regional Initiative of Women's Groups for Promoting ICT as a Strategic Tool for Social Transformation

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