Despite a rise in the awareness of women’s rights in Georgia, feminist activists have found themselves up against a deeply-rooted culture that hinders further progress. Early marriages, a lack of recognition of the need for more female decision-makers, and impassivity towards women’s issues in the male-dominated parliament create a compounding, socially-driven force that stands on the way of gender equality.
Nearly five years after the Azerbaijani government began a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices, the environment remains hostile for opposition parties. The authorities create the semblance of a multi-party system by financing political parties whose role is to function as the opposition while maintaining the status quo. Some fear that suppressing genuine opposition and excluding it from the political arena will lead to more radical forms of activism, which could ultimately be damaging for the state.
For many people with disabilities in Georgia, finding any job at all seems all but impossible. A lack of basic services or even formal schooling and widespread prejudice compounds the problem. The government is taking steps to help people with disabilities into work, but NGOs, who often have to fill the gap, argue that much more needs to be done. [Read more…]
In many rural communities in Armenia, farmers continue to make use pesticides banned in the country over 30 years ago. Stashed in basements, sheds, and Soviet–era warehouses from before the ban came in, these toxic substances continue to threaten the health and well-being of Armenians. [Read more…]
‘A woman should know her place. A woman should show love to us all. A woman is property, and she belongs to a man. If a woman walks around naked, or if she does not behave properly, she answers to her husband, her father, and her brother. According to our customs, if a woman goes out too freely, her relatives will kill her… That’s how it happens. A brother kills his sister, a husband kills his wife… But as President, I cannot allow them to be killed. So, women shouldn’t wear shorts.’ [Read more…]
The lack of job opportunities and development prospects in the rural regions of Azerbaijan has provoked a population influx to the capital, and the rapid growth of Baku’s population has increased the load on the city’s infrastructure. Problems faced by the metropolis and its inhabitants include gas cutoffs, waste management issues, water shortages, and traffic jams. [Read more…]
With high levels unemployment, Armenians are especially vulnerable to exploitation from unscrupulous employers. Given a lack of legal protections, employers are free to discriminate against female applicants based on their age or how they look. For some women, the only answer they see is to undergo cosmetic procedures, to make them look younger in the hope of finding a job. [Read more…]
In many remote areas of Armenia, energy poverty remains a serious concern. With no connection to the gas grid, villagers resort to burning illegally cut wood or cow dung to keep warm during winter. But in the border village of Kut, high in the mountains of eastern Armenia, a new hope is emerging in the form of renewable energy. [Read more…]
Two years on from the April 2016 war, which caused the deaths of hundreds and a loss of territory, Nagorno-Karabakh’s youth are more determined than ever to stay in their homeland and build a future there. Galvanised by their recent experience of war, young men living close to the frontline talk of what the April events meant for them and how they remain ever vigilant of another outbreak of fighting.