“The biggest problem is not being able to live” | Ali Malikov

LGBTQI+ activist Ali Malikov gave an interview to Türkiye’s Bianet media. In their interview, Malikov talked about the history of LGBTQI+ activism in Azerbaijan and the path it has taken. They also shared their own involvement in activism, the struggles they have fought, and the threats they have faced.

Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance is sharing the English translation of an interview that was originally in Türkiye Turkish. For original text, please, follow the link.

  • My LGBTI+ activist friend Avaz Hafizli was killed by having his head and genitals cut off.
  • In Azerbaijan in 2017, nearly 100 trans and gay people were kidnapped by the police and subjected to rape and torture, but no political party or major human rights organisation spoke up for the rights of LGBTI+s.
  • The organisation called “Gender and Development” has offices in Baku and other cities in Azerbaijan and works with the Ministry of Health to monitor the places, jobs, and information of trans and queer people in Azerbaijan.
  • Trans woman Nuray was killed by being burned in the forest.
  • They keep talking, listing human rights violations, and complaining that their voices cannot be heard. When you listen to Azerbaijani LGBTI+ activist Ali Malikov speak, you see similarities and differences with the struggle for LGBTI+s’ lives in Türkiye. It’s a system based on hate speech, attacks, and annihilation. Against it, there are struggles and lives dedicated to existence and being.
  • Azerbaijani LGBTI+ activist Ali Malikov is telling their story.
  • “In 2020, QueeRadar awarded me the Queer Blogger of the Year award.”

First of all, can you introduce yourself?

I’m Ali Malikov, an LGBTI+ activist living in Azerbaijan. I have been actively involved in activism for more than three years.

After co-founding “Femkulis,” one of the largest feminist platforms, with my feminist activist friend, I started to become more recognised in civil society and engage in more visible activism.

Later on, I founded “Qıy Vaar!” (“my dear” in Azerbaijani LGBTQI+ community slang), which was initially a closed queer platform but is now open to the public.

Currently, I work for Nafas LGBTI+ Alliance, one of the first free queer organisations in Azerbaijan. My activities cover LGBTI+ and women’s rights issues. In 2020, QueeRadar awarded me the Queer Blogger of the Year award.

I also participate in organising various events, discussions, and education sessions for creating different communities. I was one of the speakers at the first press conference on “Pride Month” in Azerbaijan.

My activism in Azerbaijan has recently expanded to encompass animal rights and general human rights issues. We are also trying to establish a vegan collective and organise numerous protests against the government’s killing of stray animals in Azerbaijan.

“We participated in a demonstration with our own flag for the first time.”

Can you tell me about LGBT+ activism in Azerbaijan?

LGBTI+ activism in Azerbaijan started to emerge freely only in the 2010s with organisations such as Nafas and Azad. We think that we are very young and inexperienced in this regard. In fact, I am only 18 years old, and yet I am known as one of the “most visible” within the community precisely because I am at the forefront of this movement.

For example, last year, for the first time, LGBTI+s in Azerbaijan participated in a protest organised by civil society with their own flags and banners. My activist friend Cavid Nabiyev and I organised that.

In Azerbaijan, it is impossible for LGBTI+s to become politicised due to the depoliticisation of the people and the system that has become monstrous. This is because LGBTI+s receive no support from those who claim to be in power or from their alternatives.

In fact, when about 100 trans and gay people were kidnapped, raped, and tortured by the police in 2017, no political party, no local or major human rights organisation spoke out for the rights of LGBTI+s.

This police and state pressure was repeated again in 2019, but once again we did not receive any support. In fact, there is an LGBTI+ organisation in Azerbaijan that is affiliated with the government and collects personal information about LGBTI+s by distributing condoms and conducting HIV tests.

This organisation, called “Gender and Development,” has offices in Baku and other cities in Azerbaijan and works with the Ministry of Public Health. Their goal is to keep track of the places, jobs, and information of trans and queer people in Azerbaijan.

While no non-governmental organisation (NGO) is registered in Azerbaijan, this organisation has been established since 2007, and there are allegations that they are involved in sexual exploitation and selling people’s information.

When I shared this information, they tried to defame me by accusing me of “human trafficking,” but they were unsuccessful. It is almost impossible to sustain spaces for us in Azerbaijan. Even our organisation, which has been around for 10 years, doesn’t have an open office. No one even gives us space to use.

There is not even an “LGBTI+ space” where the community can go in Azerbaijan, only underground and a few supportive places exist. My LGBTI+ activist friend Avaz Hafizli was killed by having his head and penis cut off.

In late 2021, fascist blogger Sevinc Hüseynova began live-streaming and calling for the killing of trans people. Trans woman Nuray was burned to death in the forest.

“No one heard Avaz’s voice.”

Avaz Hafizli was organising many protests with the trans community. However, the State Security Service of the Republic told us that they wouldn’t protect our lives because “LGBTI+s are not a social group.” As a result, Avaz’s family and others started to threaten him with death.

At the end, Sevinc Hüseynova targeted Avaz too. Avaz was murdered by having his head and genitalia cut off. However, before his murder, Avaz had organised many protests for himself.

For example, he tied himself to the prosecutor’s office and said that his life was in danger, but no one heard him, and we found him dead. Avaz’s killer was given the minimum sentence of 9 years and 6 months. In the trial, there were many irregularities, and the charges were not written.

Even though more than a year has passed, Avaz’s family has not even allowed us to make a gravestone for him.

In Azerbaijan, you have to be ready to lose everything for LGBTI+ activism. Just the other day, I went to a police station because a girl was beaten, and they mocked me by saying “we are waiting for you” in a sarcastic way, meaning they would arrest me. Even when I was detained at a protest the other day, they threatened to rape me.

“The biggest problem is not being able to live.”

What problems do LGBTI+s and activists face the most in Azerbaijan? What kind of problems do you face?

In Azerbaijan, the main problem for LGBTI+s is the inability to live openly and find safe shelter. When people reveal their queer identities or are outed, they are often killed, beaten, or placed under house arrest by their families.

Even when they flee from home, collaborating police often return them to their re-assigned families. It’s not easy to get legal support or psycho-social assistance for those over 18 or under 18. I only know of two lawyers and one organisation that provides psycho-social support. However, I cannot benefit from this service because I know all the employees (two social workers and two psychologists) on a daily basis as an activist.

There are no supportive shelters available. It is very difficult to do anything because Azerbaijan has seriously cut off funding from other countries. Embassies only “help” with social initiatives to maintain good relations with the government, but I do not trust their sincerity. My biggest fear is being alone because even though we are getting stronger every day, we are becoming more marginalised and ghettoised. I am afraid that I will die, be kidnapped, or be imprisoned before I can voice my final words.

In Azerbaijan, even signing a campaign for peace can make you a target because of the Aliyev regime. For example, even before I turned 18, I was on state-run television and insulted.

Other non-state television channels are banned in Azerbaijan, and only online media is available, mostly controlled by other countries. Another internet media outlet affiliated with the government targeted me because I expressed my desire for peace and called for it during the Karabakh war.

“Azerbaijan is worse off than Iran”

Can you make your voice heard to the world?

Most of our problems are compounded by Azerbaijan’s occupation policy during the Karabakh war and the fact that Azerbaijan itself is not known. In the latest report by Freedom House, Azerbaijan is said to be worse off than Iran.

They have instilled so much hatred in Azerbaijanis that they are ready to attack every LGBTI+ person they see, saying “you are Armenian” or “may the blood of martyrs be forbidden.” I experience these things every day. Even when someone asks me for an interview, I am filled with hope.

For me, being LGBTI+ in Azerbaijan means having my life taken away from me.

TikTok Account about Queer History | Queer Historian

In recent years, TikTok has become a platform for sharing all kinds of content, including educational content. And now, a queer historian from Azerbaijan is using the platform to share his research on queer history, sexuality, and gender.

The TikTok account – Queer Historian, created by the historian, features videos that are both informative and engaging. The author uses his own articles and papers to create content that covers a range of topics related to queer history and sexuality. The videos are aimed at educating and informing people about these issues, and have already gained a large following.

The author, Vahid Aliyev said that he was inspired to create the TikTok account because he felt that there was a lack of representation of queer history and sexuality in mainstream media in Azerbaijan. He believes that it is important to educate people about these issues, especially in a country like Azerbaijan, where there is still a lot of stigma surrounding LGBTQI+ identities.


Hi there! this TikTok video is about “2013 – Russia’s Year of Political Homophobia,” an introduction to the book “Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi” by Dan Healey. #Russia #sexuality #history #fyp #queerhistory101 #historytime

♬ original sound – Queer Historian – Queer Historian
TikTok @queerhistorian

“I want to use my platform to share information about queer history and sexuality, and to help people understand these topics better,” Vahid Aliyev said in an interview with Nafas LGBTI. “I think it’s important to create a space where people can learn and ask questions without fear of judgment or discrimination.”

The videos cover a range of topics, from the history of queer activism to contemporary research on gender and sexuality. They are presented in an accessible and engaging way, with the author sometimes using humour to make complex topics more approachable.


Hey everyone! How’s it going tonight? [audience cheers] Great, great. So, I was reading this article the other day called “Challenges of Gender Studies in Azerbaijan,” and let me tell you, it was a real page-turner. #genderstudies #azerbaijan #queerhistory #history #critique

♬ original sound – Queer Historian – Queer Historian

The author said that he plans to continue creating content for the TikTok account, and hopes to expand his reach. “I think that there is a lot of interest in these topics, and I want to continue to share information and start conversations,” he said. “I hope that my TikTok account can be a space where people can learn and grow together.”

“Community Leaders” programme | Qızlar Oxusun

Qızlar Oxusun has announced the opening of applications for its “Community Leaders” programme.

The purpose of this programme is to contribute to the development of community leaders in regions and support their social initiatives related to education issues. It should be noted that during the programme, efforts will be focused on combating girls’ drop-out rates and ensuring their personal and professional development.

The programme, which will last for 3 months, will consist of the following stages:

  • Organisation of training on project management;
  • Provision of organisational and mentorship support for community leaders to implement their initiatives.

Individuals aged between 22-35 years living in any district or village can participate in the programme.

Click here to access the registration form.

The deadline for applications is March 28, 2023.

Qızlar Oxusun project has provided information that successful candidates will be notified about the next selection stage.

Psychological Counselling for LGBTQI+ Individuals | Ali Abbasov

Author: Ali Abbasov, psychologistt-consultant

This article is presented within the framework of the “LGBTI+s Demand: Mental Health and Justice” programme, implemented with the support of the USAID Azerbaijan and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST), by the Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance.

Before touching on the subject of psychological counselling for LGBTQI+ individuals, it may be useful to first consider in general what a psychologist does or does not do. Subsequently, attention will be given to issues that should be considered during psychological counselling with LGBTQI+ individuals, the lack of knowledge of many psychologists about psychological counselling with LGBTQI+ individuals, and the fundamental issues brought by LGBTQI+ individuals.

When considering what a psychologist does or does not do, one of the important aspects that should be realised is that the psychologist is not superior to the individual seeking their services. While the psychologist may have developed themselves in the field of psychology, they do not know the details of the individual’s life better than they do. For this reason, it is necessary for the psychologist to listen to the individual’s story without assuming a hierarchical approach or showing more interest in the story than the individual themselves.

Another issue is that the psychologist should not make decisions for the individual seeking their services. While listening to the individual, the psychologist should not make statements like “I think it would be better for you to reconcile with your family,” “I think you should not discuss this with your friends,” or “I think if you text your friend, the problem will be solved.” This would not only impose the psychologist’s own will on the individual but may also lead to various conflicts.

Another issue I would like to address is that the psychologist should not make predictions about the future. The aforementioned statements can be seen as a type of prediction about the psychologist’s future. For example, by expanding one of the aforementioned statements to “I think it would be better for you to reconcile with your family. If you reconcile with your family, you will feel more comfortable,” a prediction sentence can be created. A psychologist who creates such sentences probably assumes that if the individual reconciles with their family, the problems causing their discomfort will be solved. However, the individual may become upset when they hear this sentence without thinking that it will be beneficial. Another possibility is that the discussion does not result in the “feeling of comfort” predicted by the psychologist.

The other topic that needs to be addressed is the issues that a psychologist should pay attention to when providing psychological consultation to LGBTQIA+ individuals. One of the critical issues that a psychologist should be aware of is the importance of not imposing their own values on the individual seeking help, even if it means going beyond the ethical code. The psychologist should avoid being non-objective towards the age, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other cultural and individual characteristics of the person seeking help. Such behavior goes against ethical codes, including the American Psychological Association’s ethical code, which emphasizes that a psychologist should not impose their values on the other person.

In this context, I can give an example of a psychologist asking questions such as “Have you ever considered changing?” without listening to the LGBTQIA+s’ concerns. Unfortunately, some psychologists still ask these kinds of questions, which violates ethical rules and imposes their values on the other person. A more beneficial approach for a psychologist with this type of attitude is to work on their non-objective methodology.

Another issue is that a psychologist should not solely focus on the gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or gender expression of the person seeking help for their own interest. While listening to the concerns brought up by the person seeking help, the psychologist should be aware that their gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or gender expression may play a role in the issues raised. However, asking questions about this solely for the psychologist’s interest, when it is not helpful for the person seeking help, may harm the therapeutic relationship and prevent the person from expressing their needs.

Another topic I would like to address is the lack of information that psychologists have on providing psychological consultation to LGBTQIA+ individuals. I believe that one of the main reasons for this is the lack of emphasis on this topic in both formal and informal education. Based on my observations, from primary education onwards, the formal and informal information on this subject is scarce, and much of the information available is based on personal opinions rather than scientific resources. As a result, psychologists who cannot access scientific resources may not have sufficient knowledge on this subject.

When writing about misguided and biased thoughts, I would also like to touch on another topic. Although writing these sentences makes me quite sad, I do not want to move on to the next part without touching on this issue. Based on my observations, some psychologists can voice biased thoughts that support phobic thoughts that have taken root in society, even though they are knowledgeable about LGBTQI+ people in the field of psychological counseling, just to gain more acceptance. Even if the psychologist who adopts this approach assumes that what they say is wrong, they may choose to believe in that wrong thing just to gain more acceptance. In this case, the psychologist not only violates ethical rules but also strengthens wrong thoughts by using their status, and may even indirectly support hate speech.

Another point I would like to note is the topics brought to the sessions by the individuals who apply for psychological counseling. Since it is too long to emphasize each of these topics, it will be the subject of a separate study. LGBTQI+s’ main issues are often related to their sense of belonging. Being misunderstood by many people around them may result in the individual feeling like they do not belong to their circle. In this case, the individual may face isolation, loneliness, and meaninglessness. In this regard, some approaches such as informing them that it is not right for them to be discriminated against based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or gender expression, supporting them in summarizing their needs, moving protective factors in their social environment, and empowering activities may be helpful. Another point is the family relationships, which are also related to the circle. In this case, in addition to the above-mentioned studies, creating communication with the family if possible, working on communication patterns may be beneficial. Although these topics cover a part of the issues brought to the meetings, I would like to emphasize that the needs of the individuals who apply for counseling or the topics they bring are not limited to these.

Finally, I would like to touch on the necessity of a systematic approach to the topics brought by the individuals who apply for psychological counseling. Specifically, psychological counseling should focus on a specific part of the issues in the individual’s life. However, the topics brought by LGBTQI+ individuals often cannot be seen as separate from each other. Therefore, a holistic approach that considers the individual as a whole may be more beneficial in this regard.

Above, I tried to touch on different aspects related to psychological counseling for LGBTQI+ individuals. This topic is actually much deeper and needs to be enriched with new research. I hope this article sheds some light on the importance of psychological counseling for LGBTQI+ individuals and leads to more detailed future studies on the topic.

Psychologist-consultant Ali Abbasov wrote about the psychological counseling for LGBTQI+ individuals for the Nafas LGBTI.

Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance Holds First Meeting with Volunteers

Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance held its first meeting with volunteers on March 14th, marking an important milestone in the organisation’s mission to promote LGBTI+ rights in Azerbaijan.

The meeting served as an introduction for the volunteers to each other and to the activities and goals of Nafas LGBTI. The organisation is dedicated to transforming Azerbaijan into a country where every LGBTI+ individual is free, equal and safe. Nafas LGBTI aims to achieve this through advocacy, community building and amplifying queer voices from Azerbaijan.

As an independent LGBTI+ rights organisation, Nafas LGBTI is committed to promoting the diversity and integration of marginalised communities into social and political life. The organisation strives to advance the discourse on human rights in line with the principles of justice and equality.

The meeting was attended by a diverse group of volunteers who share a common goal of promoting LGBTI+ rights in Azerbaijan. The volunteers were excited to learn more about Nafas LGBTI and its activities, and to begin working towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society in Azerbaijan.

Nafas LGBTI is proud to have such a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers who are committed to working towards a better future for LGBTI+ individuals in Azerbaijan. The organisation looks forward to collaborating with its volunteers to achieve its mission of promoting equality, safety and freedom for all LGBTI+ individuals in the country.

Kalben Hangs Trans Pride Flag at Baku Concert, Sends Message of Inclusivity

Kalben – a well-known singer from Türkiye had the opportunity to visit Baku, Azerbaijan for the first time in her career. The talented musician revealed how it took her five albums before she finally made it to the city. She shared her experiences on social media, detailing all the exciting events she participated in during her visit.

A night of trans inclusivity and music

Kalben kicked off her visit by performing some of her favorite songs to a lively crowd in Baku. She shared the experience with her fans, mentioning how singing helped her heal and how the light of the crowd leaked out from the ruins of her soul. She even wrapped a trans flag around her chest, showing support for the LGBTQ+ community. Singer from Türkiye, Kalben made a powerful statement in support of trans rights during her concert in Baku on March 10th. The musician hung the trans pride flag on stage, a move that was met with applause and appreciation from the audience.

In an emotional Instagram post following the concert, Kalben reflected on the significance of the moment. “I wrapped Miray Deniz’s trans flag around my chest,” she wrote. “I sang these songs like I was praying for all races, languages, religions, genders, identities, and beings to live, love, and be together, whether they are single or multiple.”

Video: Qıy Vaar!

A celebration of culture

Kalben stumbled upon a wonderful concert during her visit to Baku. She attended the event at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, which showcased some of the best camera and organ music. She also had the opportunity to attend her first opera, Tosca by Puccini, which she found captivating and inspiring.

Kalben expressed how difficult it can be to work in her own country and how people can be quick to turn on you. She emphasised the importance of living in the moment and celebrating life. The singer vowed to continue singing until all love, people, animals, and forests have the right to live equally all over the world.

Survey on Situation of Discrimination, Violence, and other Violations of Rights against LGBTIQ+ Citizens

A survey has been launched to investigate the situation of discrimination, violence, and other violations of rights against LGBTIQ+ citizens based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. The survey aims to collect data that can be used to develop recommendations for the collection of LGBTQ+ data and the assurance of our rights.

The survey is anonymous and participants are encouraged to indicate if they do not have an answer to any of the questions. In such cases, they can move on to the next question. Additionally, individuals who have not experienced the event described in any question can include their answer in the “Other” section.

You can fill the survey using this link.

The survey is being conducted by Queerdian and individuals who have any questions or need support can contact this address: queerdianaz@gmail.com.

It is crucial in providing a better understanding of the situation of discrimination, violence, and other violations of rights against LGBTIQ+ citizens. The data collected from the survey can be used to develop recommendations for improving the legal protection and ensuring the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals.

It is important to note that discrimination against LGBTIQ+ citizens is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. In Azerbaijan, LGBTI+s face severe challenges in their daily lives, ranging from discrimination in the workplace to violence and persecution.

This is an important step towards creating a better understanding of the issues facing LGBTIQ+ individuals and developing strategies to address them. The anonymity of the survey ensures that individuals can provide honest and accurate responses, which will ultimately contribute to a better understanding of the situation.

The aim of the Queerdian initiative is to improve the needs and rights of LGBTIQ+ citizens in Azerbaijan for greater societal awareness, to create and maintain better information resources for the LGBTI+ individuals.

Panel Discussion Explores Intersection of Feminist and LGBTQI+ Mobilisation

Fighting Against Exploitative Power and Conservatism

Questioning the Complementarity of the Movements

Inclusivity of the Local Feminist Movement

Proposals for Effective Collaboration

On March 9th, the Baku Community Space hosted a panel discussion on the intersection of feminist and LGBTQI+ mobilisation organised by Nafas LGBTI and Q-Collective. The event, titled “The Visibility of LGBTQI+ Experiences in Feminist Mobilization,” was moderated by Cavid Nəbiyev, a well-known LGBTQI+ activist from Nafas LGBTI.

Fighting Against Exploitative Power and Conservatism

The discussion focused on the fight against exploitative power and conservatism by both feminist and LGBTQI+ movements. The panellists highlighted the institutionalisation of normative structures that make their lives difficult and the hegemony of the system and its discourse on sexuality and gender.

Questioning the Complementarity of the Movements

The panellists – Azad Bəxti, Əli Məlikov, Leyla Həsənova, and Lili Nazarov – questioned how much these two movements – LGBTI+ and feminist movements complement each other. They explored the overlap and divergence of the issues faced by feminists and members of LGBTQI+ community and how they can work together more effectively.

Inclusivity of the Local Feminist Movement

Another topic discussed was whether the local feminist movement is inclusive of LGBTQI+ community. The panellists acknowledged the importance of an inclusive feminist movement and called for more collaboration between the two communities.

Proposals for Effective Collaboration

The panellists representing LGBTI+ initiatives and organisations put forward proposals for more effective collaboration between the feminist and LGBTQI+ communities. They emphasised the importance of mutual support, solidarity, and intersectionality in their fight against discrimination and oppression.

The panel discussion provided a platform for meaningful dialogue and reflection on the challenges faced by the feminist and LGBTQI+ movements in Azerbaijan. By highlighting the need for collaboration and inclusivity, the event offered valuable insights for those working towards a more equitable and just society.

Feminists Pushed by Police During March for Women’s Rights in Azerbaijan

During the recent march for women’s rights in Azerbaijan, feminists and LGBTI+s were pushed by the police, causing some protestors’ condition to worsen. Witnesses reported that the police crowd was pushing and shoving the protesters, and the feminists were caught in the middle of it.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was visibly shaken and had difficulty breathing for some minutes. She was on the verge of fainting when other protesters came to her aid.

In addition to the physical altercation, the police used force to confiscate shutter bombs from the protesters. The use of force by law enforcement against peaceful protesters has sparked outrage amongst feminists and LGBTI+ rights activists.

The feminist community in Azerbaijan has been advocating for women’s rights and an end to gender-based violence for some time. Despite facing opposition and pushback from the government and conservative groups, they have continued to speak out and demand change. The incident during the recent march highlights the ongoing challenges faced by activists and organisers in the fight for gender equality and justice.

Feminist Community Marches for Women’s Rights and Safety in Azerbaijan

Feminist Community Marches for Women’s Rights and Safety in Azerbaijan

Dozens Take to the Streets Demanding Action Against Gender-Based Violence

Rising Violence Against Women and Political Retaliation Sparks Outrage

March Organisers Call for Implementation of Policies and Conventions

Protesters Vow to Continue Fight for Women’s Safety and Rights

Dozens of women, LGBTI+s and supporters of gender equality marched in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, on March 8, demanding an end to violence against women and equal rights for all. The rally was organised by the feminist community in Azerbaijan in honour of International Women’s Day

Dozens Take to the Streets Demanding Action Against Gender-Based Violence

The protest drew a diverse crowd of women, LGBTI+s and supporters of gender equality. Participants held up signs and chanted slogans calling for an end to violence against women, the implementation of policies to improve social welfare and financial support for women from vulnerable groups, and the adoption of the Istanbul Convention to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

Rising Violence Against Women and Political Retaliation Sparks Outrage

The organisers of the march cited a surge in violence against women in the country, with news of the murder of 11 women reported in the media in February alone. In addition, many women are subjected to various forms of violence by the patriarchy, with nine women experiencing physical violence and eight women targeted for murder attempts in February. Women and minors also face political retaliation, putting their lives in danger.

March Organisers Call for Implementation of Policies and Conventions

The rally aimed to raise awareness about the systematic violence and femicides against women in Azerbaijan and put pressure on the government to adopt the Istanbul Convention. The organisers called for the implementation of policies and programs to improve the financial support of women from vulnerable groups and ensure equal rights for everyone regardless of gender and sexual orientation.

Protesters Vow to Continue Fight for Women’s Safety and Rights

The “8 March – We Want to Live!” march drew attention on social media, with some expressing support for the protesters and their demands for equal rights and an end to violence against women. However, many were disapproving, and mentioning government’s narrative “there is no violence against women in Azerbaijan”. The organisers of the march have pledged to continue their fight until their demands are met and women can live safely and free from violence in Azerbaijan.