Stories from Azerbaijan

Women’ nightmares during Covid 19 or unbloomed lifes… Women’ nightmares during Covid 19 or unbloomed lifes…

Parvana Rahimova


Turan Nabizadeh studied in 2008 and 2010 years at the college.The parents of 31-year-old Turan Nabizadeh claim that their daughter was deliberately killed by her husband and his parents on August 22 this year during Covid 19. While taking an interview with Yegana Aslanova, Turan's mother said in tears that her daughter called her and wanted to divorce before she died. But her daughter's husband did not accept it. ”For many years, my daughter suffered from psychological torture by her husband and husband’s parents. She lived in isolation between walls, and couldn't go anywhere. She was forbidden to watch TV by her husband. "

At her husband's request, Turan changed into a black headscarf and wore a hijab. But after years of violence, she couldn’t resist the prohibitions and began to have serious psychological problems "I wish I could help my daughter in time," said the mother, shedding tears. After the case an investigation was launched into Turan's death. 

According to the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan reported that 33 women were killed in the country in the first half of 2021.[1]  The prosecutor's office said in a statement that "the biggest obstacle to combating violence against women is silence."

Zumrud Yağmur, the founder of the Women's Initiative Group, believes that domestic violence is a problem in society as a whole, and that one of the factors that fosters violence in society begins with the acceptance of male dominance. "A woman is silent when she is subjected to violence for a long time. This is due to the fact that the society treats women who have been subjected to violence unequivocally “she emphasized.

Gender activists and women's rights activists note an increase in the number of domestic crimes against women recently.she started wearing hijab at the suggestion of her husband after getting married

Feminist activists claim that the government is to blame for the state's failure to adequately protect victims of domestic violence.  They protested under the slogan "Women's massacres are political on February 4 , 2021, in Freedom Square, Baku". [2] One of the protesters, Vafa Nagi, a political and gender activist, believes that women's rights are being violated in Azerbaijan, the law is not working and the police are negligent: “The perpetrator knows that he will not be punished. The police seek to resolve violence within the framework of centuries-old national traditions, and reconcile victims and abusers."

Gender activist Vafa Nagi then cited the case of 23-year-old Sevic Maharramova, who was a mother of two, had been abused for years and murdered by her husband, noting that she had witnessed police negligence.

“Firstly, the police must be sensitive to the victims and ensure their safety immediately, "said Zibeyde Zakariyayeva, a human rights activist.


"Father, don't do that, please…"


The life of 22-year-old Aytan (the name has been changed to protect her identity), who divorced and came back to her father's house in September 2021, turned into hell. Aytan witnessed her 15-year-old sister being sexually abused by her father, and trembles with fear and remembers the day again: "One day I was washing the clothesin in the yard. Suddenly I heard my sister crying, "Dad, don't do that, no, let me sleep, begging you” she was screaming. When I came in, my sister was trembling under the blanket. "

To protect her sister from her father, Aytan is forced to sleep in the same room and bed with her sister after that case. "There were nights when I couldn't sleep because of fear. I hid a knife under my pillow so that I could protect myself and my sister if my father came," she cries.

This time, her father began to commit the same sexual acts against Aytan. When she protested, his father beat her violently: "Sometimes he beat me with a belt around his waist." How he hit me so hard on  my  head that I lost my temper and decided to tell my mother. The reason I hide from my mother so far was that she had cancer and was so weak. ”

However, Aytan's mother found out about it and told her brothers. "They also told my mother and me to keep this secret that they would be ashamed." she added.

 Aytan's mother forgave her father and now lives with him. Although Aytan complained to the police, she faced pressure from her relatives.

Zibeyde Zakariyayeva, a human rights activist, lawyer says that the women are in constant fear because there are not enough shelters and they are deprived of psychological support to overcome the problems: ”That is why they prefer to be silent,”she says.

 Aytan, who currently lives in a rented house with her sister, is currently the only person working in the family and has only one dream: to educate her sister and get out of the swamp.

"In Azerbaijani society, domestic sexual violence is accepted as the norm and not considered a criminal act." Zümrüd Yağmur, the founder of the Women's Initiative Group, emphasizes. She said that the situation of women in the regions was even worse, and that as an initiative group, they faced artificial procedures and obstacles, such as obtaining permission from local authorities to reach victims of violence in the regions.


Solutions or meaningless phrases?


The Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence, adopted in 2010, contains a separate clause on the protection order to protect victims of domestic violence from violence.[3] According to this law, a protection order must protect a woman from an abuser.

According to the report of the State Committee, from January to July 2021, a protection order was issued to the victim in connection with 16 cases of domestic violence.  Zibeyde Zakariyayeva, a human rights activist, described the difficulties faced by victims of domestic violence (especially violent women) in issuing protection orders: “If a woman applies for a security order, she can't get it for weeks. First of all, the obstacle must be lifted up and security orders must be given immediately to the victims of violence.”

Vafa Nagi, who is feminist and gender activist cited that there are only 3 women's shelters in the country of 10 million people. According to her, the issues must be solved by the government as soon as possible.  “So, the number of shelters must be increased and the government must also accede to the Istanbul Convention to protect women's rights at the state level.” she added.