Azerbaijan: Gender Violence Levels Are Alarming - Official
Azerbaijani Deputy General Prosecutor Namik Askerov told MPs on December 2 that violence against women is pervasive in Azerbaijan.Askerov reported that 1,657 cases of violence against women were registered during 2008. The trend is holding steady this year: during the first 10 months of 2009, the number reported cases reached 1,323, the APA news agency reported. In addition, 15 recorded cases of kidnapping and 16 murders connected to gender violence have occurred so far this year, Askerov noted. Azerbaijan, which joined the Council of Europe's campaign to stop violence against women in 2006, is considering the drafting of special legislation to help reduce gender violence, APA reported.
Azerbaijani lawmakers are also considering a proposal to ban prenatal gender testing to prevent selective abortions of female babies. Male babies have outnumbered female babies by three to one for the past 12 years, the news site Day.az reported on November 24, due to selective abortions. [For background see EurasiaNet archive.]