“The body of a woman was found in a garbage can in Azerbaijan”
This type of news headlines has been seen by lot of people living in different parts of Azerbaijan . But even though the headline they see is the same, what they think after reading it is completely different. Let’s guess the thoughts of an average statistical citizen of AR after reading this headline.
“I wonder what kind of shit that woman did that caused her to be found chopped up and thrown in the trash”. Sadly, most people who adhere to the dogmatic beliefs of their forefathers think so. According to them, how a woman is killed varies according to the shit she did, if something happened to her, then she did something.
There are some boundaries that society draws on women, and these boundaries include only washing dishes, caring for her husband, caring for children, and giving birth to children. Those who go beyond these limits are labeled “immoral” and “bad wives”. Unfortunately, the state’s policy towards women not only delays new laws for women, but also does not implement existing ones; insists on not accepting the necessary conventions, ignoring cases of violence against women, and avoids the adoption of the Istanbul Convention.
The state tries to justify its refusal to accept the convention on the pretext of “violating our national values” and “because it recognizes the rights of LGBTQ +”. If the state adopts and implements the convention, it will result in better protection of women’s rights in this society, and a woman who knows her rights and demands them is not in the interests of the state. A woman who is oppressed by the interests of the state and cannot seek her rights is more suitable for the state.
How did the people react?
Despite the spread of such a serious news in the media, the society does not feel concerned about the situation and does not react. When such news, which attracts the reaction of only a small group of people, is published in the media, people should be aware of the problem and make demands for solutions.
In any case, people see the woman as guilty and try to stigmatize her. Stigma is not only a problem faced by adult women, but also a problem faced by minors. We can point out the girl who was raped by police in a hotel a few days ago. The culprit in thousands of brains was not the police, but a 15-year-old girl. They tried to satisfy themselves by saying, “what was a 15-year-old child doing in a hotel?” and “where were her parents?”
In other case, according to her grandmother, 15 years old Shura Amirova was kidnapped and forced to marry. Then when she was 21, she got divorced with her 2 kids beside her. And then, on June 9, 2020, her ex-husband tied her to a tractor, poured gasoline on her and set her on fire. He then tied the woman with a rope, bring her to the bathroom of their house, set her on fire again and locked the door.
Society needs to be educated to change its attitudes, to form concepts such as equality and justice. It’s impossible for it to be done only by activists and the civil society with few chances. Along with civil society and activists, the state must raise awareness and change its policy. Awareness should start at an early age, and of course schools and universities has a great role in it. Because children are more likely to be exposed to violence and apply it to their peers if they do not know what violence is and how it will result. Girls have 1/4 chance and boys have 1/6 chance of being molested before the age of 18. According to the research reported by TIME magazine, gender non-conforming children assigned male at birth are “nearly three times as likely to suffer sexual abuse in childhood compared with gender-typical boys” while gender non-conforming children assigned female at birth are “60% more likely to be abused sexually than conforming girls”. Children with disabilities are 2.9 more likely to be sexually abused compared to other kids. Majority of children don’t report sexual abuse when it’s happening. Usually, they are afraid of their parents’ reaction or getting into trouble. They usually don’t know how to explain what happened to them or being manipulated by the abuser. And that’s why they should know what violence is and what they should do when it happens.
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