14 Dec

Gender-based violence in Azerbaijan

A colleague asked about research on gender-based violence in Azerbaijan and I started to answer her e-mail with some results from the 2011 CRRC Social capital, media, and gender survey, but quickly realized I might as well write a blog post on this! I did an analysis on some of the gender items a number of years ago that may be of interest as well.

Gender-based violence is not my area of expertise. However, I do think that it is incredibly difficult to understand these issues through survey data. Nonetheless, the results are telling. Unfortunately I don’t have the means/SD on these, just frequencies, but if there is interest, I can report them at a later date.

I think that it would also be interesting to look at this by region (capitol, urban cities, villages) as well as by education and income level. But that is for another day. On with the results!

While over half of Azerbaijani adult respondents believed that there are not times where it is okay for a woman to be beaten…

Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of women are not keen on this, while less than half of men are.

Yet, despite the answers about there being times where a woman may deserve to be beaten, It seems that some (over a third) believe that a woman should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.

Although it appears that women and men may slightly disagree on this point.

But when actually reporting on the practice, despite the mixed feelings about women deserving to be beaten and possibly reasons why they may deserve it, there is some evidence that people does believe that beatings are common. This graphic shows beliefs about how common both husband/partner beatings are, as well as mother-in-law beatings. The high “don’t knows” are important to acknowledge here.

When broken down by gender, many more men “don’t know” if husband beatings are occurring.

And it appears that men do not have as strong of a sense if mother-in-law beatings are occurring, which is logical. 


04 Mar

Azerbaijan and gender online 2013 sneak peek

Okay okay okay… a sneak preview.

Previous posts on Azerbaijan and gender online for context…

* Gender online, Azerbaijan, 2012, Caucasus Barometer
* Regional and gender Internet activities, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 2012, Caucasus Barometer
* Internet infographic, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 2012, Caucasus Barometer
* Social networking sites, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 2012, Caucasus Barometer
* All technology, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (with gender and regional), 2011, Caucasus Barometer
* All technology, Azerbaijan (with gender), 2011, Caucasus Barometer

And here’s one sneak peek at what’s going on in Azerbaijan with women getting online in 2013.


07 Mar

Azerbaijan Gender Issues Online

In honor (?) of March 8, a blog post on gender…

Last year I did quite a bit of work on gender and Internet in Azerbaijan. Here are two blog posts [1] [2]. Like in 2011, in 2012, there are almost no gender differences in Armenia or Georgia, so there is no need to write about it.

First, looking at frequency.


While 14% of Azerbaijani men are online every day, only 8% of women are. While 58% of Azerbaijani men never go online (even though they are aware of the Internet), 65% of Azerbaijani women never go online (although they are aware of the Internet), and 17% of Azerbaijani women and only 6% of Azerbaijani men do not know what the Internet is.


61% of daily Internet users in Azerbaijan are men. Last year this was 73% to 27%, so this is an improvement in equality.


54% of male Internet users in Azerbaijan are on a social networking site and 43% of female Internet users in Azerbaijan are on a social networking site. However, because of the low percentage of women online, only 15% of all female Azerbaijanis are on a social networking site, while 35% of all male Azerbaijanis are.


Men make up 70% of social networking site users in Azerbaijan in 2012. In 2011, men were 72% of Facebook users in Azerbaijan, so this is not a major change.

02 Feb

Georgians are social, women get out less than men do, and other unsurprising findings


2011 Caucasus Barometer

FWIW, Armenia doesn’t have a chaixana/birja culture.

This was going to be the end of this blog post, but then I figured that I’d put a more interesting spin on it and look at gender as well. I noted some of the more interesting items, but please come to your own conclusions here.



Ask and you shall receive! Here are breakdowns by region and gender and country for each of these activities. Certainly in the regions there are less opportunities to do some of these things because of availability (there is no discotech in my village!), lifestyle (I’m a farmer and need to get up early, so I can’t go to the discotech! or I’m a farmer and I’m too busy to hang out with friends during the harvesting season!), or cultural norms (maybe it isn’t okay for a village woman to do some of this stuff, while it would be more acceptable for a capital city woman).




This is a good example where women in regional cities and rural areas are just not going out to eat, with little difference between the three countries.


Here’s another interesting case – rural women in all three countries aren’t going out very often, although certainly in Azerbaijan it is less. But also note that few Azerbaijani rural men are going out either.

22 Sep

Gender equality in Azerbaijan

Here are the results of analysis about attitudes toward gender issues in Azerbaijan.

The upper left graph about women and work is particularly
interesting. Women and men tend to agree on these items, except that men
are more likely to believe that university education is more important
for a boy than a girl and men think that men make better business

The upper right hand graphic looks at women and jobs and there was
more disagreement. Over half of Azerbaijani women believe that having a
job is the best way for a women to be independent, while only a third of
men do. As for the 29% of men that disagree that having a job is the
best way for a woman to be independent, it would be interesting to know
what they do believe is the best way for independence.

Only a quarter of Azerbaijan women think that it is problematic when a
woman earns more than her husband, but over a third of men believe

And when jobs are scarce, over two-thirds of Azerbaijani men believe
men have more of a right to a job than women, while a little under half
of women feel this way.

The lower right corner graph looks at attitudes about gender roles.
For the most part Azerbaijani men and women were in agreement except
significantly more men think that men should have the final decision
making power in the home. Also, more men believe that gender equality
has been reached in Azerbaijan. Notably, nearly all Azerbaijanis think
that women should be responsible for diapering, bathing, and feeding

Finally, in the lower left is skills that Azerbaijanis were taught as
children or teenagers. Nearly all Azerbaijani women were taught to
prepare food, clean the house and the bathroom, wash clothing, and care
for younger siblings.

There were very strong differences between men and women in nearly all activities except for caring for younger siblings.

Men were also more likely to be taught to grocery shop, drive, and fix home appliances.

Very few Azerbaijan women were taught to drive as teenagers.

Full version here.

22 Sep

Please help support our research project

I am incredibly lucky to have some amazing research collaborators and friends. For the project that I’m about to describe, I’m working with three women who rock my world. Two of them are also academic mommies of young kids (together we have 5 kids under age 6), two are non-native English speakers working in English at a near native proficiency – which is awesome, and all three are great and funny friends who work exceptionally hard and are passionate about creating positive change in the region. Two are also well known gender and digital activists in the region while the other two are American academics with over a decade of involvement in the region. We are all deeply concerned about inequalities in the region, especially for women.

We are all also interested in the role that technology can play in helping to better the region.

So, with that gushing out of the way, I want to share with you our (Sarah Kendzior, Jale Sultanli, and Arzu Geybullayeva) research proposal.

Last year in running the normal analyses on the Caucasus Barometer to see what percentage of the population has access to certain technologies, I noticed that ONCE AGAIN Azerbaijan lagged behind Armenia and Georgia. This seems strange because they’re, on the whole, wealthier – and wealth is the primary predictor for technology ownership.

What I soon realized is that one of the reasons that Azerbaijanis are less likely to own and use technologies is that there are huge gender discrepancies.

I was really saddened by this and after sharing my findings with these wonderful women, we began chatting through social media channels and privately (sometimes in person, sometimes digitally) about these issues. We were all worried about this problem and what it means for Azerbaijan today and in the future.

We talked about trying to pull together a research proposal but we were all quite busy. I’ve been starting a new academic position, Jale moved to an entirely new country while working on her PhD, Sarah has been transitioning out of academia, and Arzu, as usual, has her hands in many projects. Sarah and I are also working on a few other projects regarding Internet in Azerbaijan (as we have in the past), but none with a gender lens.

But then we saw that Freedom House was hosting a contest for projects related to Internet freedom with public voting. I immediately emailed my lovely friends and suggested that this could be the opportunity that we’ve been waiting for to explore the question of what is going on with women and the Internet in Azerbaijan.

So we worked on our proposal and now we need your help.

Our idea is to run a series of focus groups in Azerbaijan to talk to women (and men) about what’s going on with women and the Internet. We’ll also conduct some interviews. After our analysis we’re going to disseminate the findings in an advocacy campaign.

You can vote on our project once a day for this entire week. Here’s the voting site. Please share.

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on such an important project with such amazing collaborators. We greatly appreciate your support.

Here are some images I made to promote it.




03 Aug

Too Many Boys in the Caucasus

As I’ve discussed before, the sex ratio imbalance in the Caucasus is of great concern.

sex ratio

In this region that already faces instability, the 2 consequences of sex imbalance (first general population decline, second more boys than girls) could have dire consequences.

In other sex-imbalanced countries, the labor market decreases which slows economic growth. Men can’t find wives, which makes them angry (which can have consequences too) and/or they leave.

08 Jul

Central Asian Women

While CRRC is known for its Caucasus Barometer, in Winter 2011, a Central Asian survey was conducted to look at access to justice in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. (Here are the data files and methodological notes.)

These analyses are only on the issues related to women in Central Asia. There is a lot more in this dataset.

07 Jul

Some brief insights into the state of women in Armenia

With recent reports about sex ratio imbalance in Armenia, a quick analysis of the Caucasus Barometer brings insight into the state of women in Armenia.

Armenians certainly prefer boys, especially in rural areas. But even in regional cities and Yerevan, nearly half of Armenians state a preference for a boy.

Moreover, Armenians (and Azerbaijanis and Georgians) raise their boys and girls differently, as shown in the slide.

And once a woman has grown up, few Armenians are comfortable with her living apart from her family if she is unmarried. There is slightly greatly acceptance of this idea among capital females though. (And in the near future, I’ll look at this vis-a-vis age!)

Sex before marriage is widely viewed as unacceptable in Armenia, but again capital females are slightly more tolerance of the idea. (And again, I need to look at this vis-a-vis age.)

However, living together before marriage has SOME acceptance amongst Yerevantsis, but overall the practice is viewed as unacceptable.

So all-in-all, do Armenians think that men or women have a better life? Interestingly, the results are mixed and there aren’t great regional or gender differences.