Rabiyya Mammadova, one of the independent election candidates, has come to the front of the Central Election Commission (CEC) with a pot to protest against the gender inequality and discrimination in the country.
Mammadova’s protest comes days after CEC official Ramiz Ibrahimov challenged another election candidate Gunel Safarova at the Baku Court of Appeal, asking why women are running for election instead of going home and cooking bozbash, a traditional meat stew in Azerbaijan.
“Instead of engaging in fraud, it would be better if [Ibrahimov] cook[s] bozbash… How dare [he] address women like that? After all, the vice president is also a woman,” Safarova was quoted as saying by actual.az.
“It is a picture depicting women’s place in this country,” commented Mammadova, a feminist activist, Facebook over the weekend.
“I don’t understand how they hold such poisoned minds in official agencies,” her Facebook post reads.
Mammadova says she went with a pot to the CEC building to protest against discrimination.
“I have brought this pot as a gift so that he cooks his bozbash rhetoric in it and then eats it by himself,” Mammadova said adding, “Women can cook bozbash, and be in politics and in protests.”
A low level of participation of women candidate in the snap election was recorded by international observers.
“It is clear to me that greater efforts are needed to promote the participation of women in public and political life,” Elona Hoxha-Gjebrea, Head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation was quoted as saying.
None of the 55 registered political parties is headed by a woman, and only 21 percent of candidates were women. There are no legal requirements to promote women candidates, international observers said in a preliminary statement on 10 February.