On March 8, Azerbaijanis in the U.S. and around the world celebrate the International Women's Day.(IWD). Observed for the first time in the United States in 1909, it became an international holiday of women in Azerbaijan as well. Year 2012 marks the 101st anniversary of the first world-wide celebration of the IWD.
Historically, women played an important role in a traditionally Muslim Azerbaijani society. In fact, in 1919, ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) voted to extend universal suffrage rights to women. Few years later, a Statue of Liberated Woman was erected in capital Baku to symbolize the emancipation of women in Azerbaijani society.
Modern Azerbaijani constitution also grants equal legal rights to women and many Azerbaijani women take active part in the public and political life of the nation. However, challenges still exist due to traditional social norms and economic inequalities which limit opportunities for women and restrict them from full-fledged participation in political and economic affairs.
Expressing a hope and a commitment to help resolving these challenges, the board directors of Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) and Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) join to extend their greetings to all Azerbaijani women on the occasion of the International Women's Day.