عنوان مقاله [English]
The evolution of human rights standards in today’s globalized world has given rise to the issue of women’s rights and gender equality. In today’s world where the role of women in social and economic life is increasing, the issue of gender equality is becoming increasingly important. One of the most important steps taken by the Soviet government was to carry out fundamental reforms to improve the social status of women. An action that began in 1918 but in practice failed to improve the situation of women. The revolutionary government succeeded in increasing women’s employment and participation in the national economy but failed to achieve women’s equality. In the post-Soviet period, the situation of women, in general, did not change. In this article, we discuss the socio-political empowerment of women in the South Caucasus. After reviewing the status of women in the Soviet Union, we will look at the post-Soviet period and the position of women in the region in the political, cultural, economic, educational, and health dimensions within the conceptual framework of empowerment of women. The main question is what is the situation of women in the South Caucasus today? The findings of this study show that the situation of women in this region in terms of political, social, cultural, educational, and health rights is close to international standards but has not been fully realized.
In the post-Soviet period, in most of the newly independent states in the Caucasus, there is little evidence of an improvement in the status of women, but in some areas, the status of women has deteriorated since the Soviet era. In this article, we examine the situation of women in the Soviet Union in 1917-1991 and the post-Soviet period in 1991-1999 in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. We first look at the situation of women in the Soviet Union in general and then at the situation of women in the three newly independent countries in terms of political, cultural, economic, educational, and health criteria. The question of this research is what is the situation of women in the South Caucasus today? One of the theoretical topics that are widely considered and used today is the issue of women’s empowerment. The situation of women in the South Caucasus is examined in this article in the context of this discussion. Empowering women strengthens their social, economic, cultural, and political status. When women have income and financial security, they gain power and self-confidence. They create accessible economic growth by creating new jobs as well as expanding the talents and human resources available in a country. Employed women are the new drivers of sustainable growth in developing countries. The most important challenges for women’s empowerment are; Increasing access and control of resources, equal property rights, increasing political participation. This concept of women’s empowerment is rooted in the human empowerment approach, where individuals can make decisions about their area of function, where they can feel like a valuable part. We now turn to the situation of women in the South Caucasus, taking into account the various aspects of empowerment mentioned above.
In sum, the measures taken by the Soviet government were to ensure the real equality of women with men in society, in cultural life, and production. Social development in the Soviet Union aimed at building a classless society by increasing interest in the needs of every human being was concerned with the problems of personal well-being and cultural development. The protection of women, as a prominent factor in the Soviet government’s general social policy, was designed to integrate them into the socialist system, but that government failed to ensure gender equality. What happened in practice was the emphasis on using the productive labor force of women and raising the birth rate in the service of the increasing population for industrial development and strengthening the Soviet military. Gender equality and the promotion of a decent attitude towards women were not among the priorities of the Soviet political elite, as other goals such as political survival and rapid industrialization took precedence. Eventually, Gorbachev’s reform plans - the last attempt at the relative success of the Soviet system - failed. Women faced structural discrimination during the Soviet era. In the post-Soviet period, the transition from a totalitarian government to a democratic and free-market government worsened the situation of women in the South Caucasus. Today, there is no national policy to address the situation of women. The government has not attempted to change this situation because it sees gender equality as an issue that was addressed during the Soviet era. Lack of effective mechanisms to ensure the proper implementation of laws leads to discrimination against women in all areas. Although men and women are equal in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, there are no strong mechanisms for achieving this in the daily life of Armenian society. Women in the South Caucasus have little activity in the economy or politics. Women’s participation in politics is limited due to social and economic pressures including childcare, lack of financial resources, opportunities, and capacities. Traditionally, women have preferred social work to politics. In both countries there is a traditional view of the presence of women in society; A view that wants more women at home and away from social, cultural, and political activities. In general, in the post-Soviet period in the countries of the South Caucasus, to date, there is little evidence of the development of democracy and the improvement of the status of women, but in some areas, such as employment, the situation of women has worsened since the Soviet era. Improving the status of women requires political will, financial resources, a change in attitudes toward the status of women in society, a strong civil society, active political parties, and public awareness. This path has not yet been implemented in the south Caucasus, despite minor constitutional changes.