June 25, 2019. the conference was held by the EDF with the support of the USAID on "Forbidden professions for women: isn’t it time to remove the prohibitions?". The U.S. Ambassador Earle Litzenberger, The USAID Azerbaijan Mission Director Jaidev Singh, MP Vahid Ahmadov, women entrepreneurs, representatives of government agencies, women’s business associations and NGOs, lawyers attended the conference. The conference had 2-panel discussions: the current situation with the ban on some professions for women in Azerbaijan; and discussions on which professions prohibited for women are valid today and how to remove these prohibitions.
The U.S. Ambassador Earle Litzenberger welcomed the conference participants and emphasized that it is time to remove the prohibitions for women.
Mr. Hafiz Hasanov – lawyer, head of the Legal Development Center made a presentation on forbidden professions for women. He mentioned that under Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic of October 20, 1999 No. 170 "About approval of the List of productions, professions (positions), and also underground works with heavy and harmful working conditions on which application of work of women is forbidden”, women's labor in 678 professions in 38 fields is prohibited in Azerbaijan.
During his presentation, he gave examples of international experience in this field and noted that there is a tendency of decreasing the number of forbidden professions for women in the world. He said that women should be given the choice of deciding whether they want to work in these jobs or not.
Sabit Bagirov – president of the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation, noted that the EDF conducted a survey among 50 people, among them 37 managing directors and 13 entrepreneurs who have employees working in their company. The survey revealed that only 6% of them are aware of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers and forbidden professions for women.
Shahla Ismayil – Women’s Association for Rational Development, stressed that restrictions on women's rights and professional stereotypes for women should be eliminated.
Other speakers also emphasized the need for elimination of prohibitions or at least a decreasing number of forbidden professions for women. Some of the participants state that prohibitions should be applied only to pregnant women.