Exploring Two Generations of Women Activists in Azerbaijan: Between Feminism and a Post-Soviet Locality

  • Yuliya Gureyeva Aliyeva


The meaning of feminism is a widely debated topic, not only in the South Caucasus but in a broader comparative context. This chapter considers this question in the context of Azerbaijan. This chapter explores two different ‘waves’ of engagement with gender equality and women’s rights issues in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The first wave relates to the scholarly engagement with Western gender studies and feminism that ensued following the collapse of the USSR, in the period 1990–2010. The second wave relates to the ‘new’ feminist activism visible in twenty-first-century Azerbaijan. Although the 1990s saw the promotion of gender equality and women’s emancipation by the academic community in Azerbaijan, many avoided identifying themselves with the global feminist movement. In contrast to these ‘hesitant’ feminists, a group of young activists in twenty-first-century Azerbaijan is more open about self-identifying and can be seen as belonging to the second wave of women’s empowerment within the country. Born for the most part in the 1980s and early 1990s, these women belong to a generation which has grown up in independent Azerbaijan. They symbolize a new class of empowered women (and men) who have developed strong personal ambitions and greater confidence.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuliya Gureyeva Aliyeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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