By Oksana Abboud, StreetNet Organiser
Federation of Trade Unions Xhidmat-ISH (Azerbaijan), an affiliated member of StreetNet International, held its event with the participation of trade union activists on the relevant theme. The event was also done within the framework of international days of action to eliminate violence against women,
In 1999, the UN General Assembly declared November 25 as an International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and invited governments, international and non-governmental organisations to carry out on this day any activities aimed at raising public awareness of this issue.
In 2014, the campaign of active actions to Eliminate Violence against women and girls around the world will be held for 16 days during the period from November 25 to December 10 (Human Rights Day).
The purpose of the event held by the Trade Union Federation Xhidmat-ISH was to draw public attention to the issue of violence against women and to try hard to bring some change in society.
In addition, Federation believes that it is necessary on the local level to achieve the implementation of the policy and legislative steps that would help to eliminate all forms of violence. At the meeting, which was attended by more than 30 trade unionists, it was noted that the number of elements of violence against women is increasing and this fact causes some fear.
It was also explained that violence against women in Azerbaijan is divided into domestic violence, sexual – psychological – economic, as well as a social violence against women as union activists just recently noticed. What is meant by social violence – it’s some provisions taken by the social ministries in the country.
Federation Xhidmat-ISH believes that the recently adopted four provisions infringe the social rights of women;
The first 14 days of sick leave pay for employees is laid on the employer, but not the social fund. As a result, in practice, when a woman takes few sick leaves a year due to the child’s illness, the employer often refuses to pay that sick leave.
Education years at university have been removed from the seniority records. It affects young girls, who in the last year of their education got married, and after graduation got a job, and after 3-4 months have to go on maternity leave. But they are not entitled to be paid for this maternity leave, as they have not worked for more than 6 months.
If a woman after childbirth in the postpartum period got pregnant again, she is not paid the maternity leave, based on her last job salary in full but only paid on the base of the minimum wage.
Previously, a woman who has three children had the right to retire at the age of 51. Now the situation has changed, and women need to have five children in order to retire at the age of 55.
At the meeting particular attention was paid to the relationship in a young family, where attention should be paid to understanding and mutual tolerance. Unfortunately, these problems cause family violence in its various forms, including even murder.
To this event the union invited a psychology professor Mr. Zeinalabdin Shabanov and Ms. Mehriban Zeynalova, chairwoman of association "Tamiz Dunya" ("Clean World"). The event was very interesting with many interventions from the participants.
It should be noted that the Federation of Trade Unions Xhidmat-ISH submitted its proposals to the Ministry of Labour of Azerbaijan to make changes to the number of sick leave days.
In addition Xhidmat-ISH decided through the media to inform the public on the rights of disadvantaged women.