Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony dedicated to the International Women`s Day - March 6, 1999

Dear ladies! Dear sisters!

I congratulate you, all the women of Azerbaijan on the International Women`s Day. I wish you the best!

We are living the last years of the 20th century. The women of Azerbaijan have achieved remarkable successes in this century. Our women had never ever gained so much before the 20th century.

Since the emancipation of women they have developed and become participants of the society. It is necessary to take care of them, use their force effectively, respect and thank them.

If 50-60 per cent of the people working in the fields of medicine and education are women, then just imagine the rapid development of our women within a short period.

The conditions created for our women, attention and care for them, as well as the women`s talent, potential, intelligence, diligence developed them. We can be proud that the women are the majority in our country. They form 51 percent of our population.

The Azerbaijani women are praised in our literature. The speakers have told much about our women today. I agree with all of them. Because, I am of the same opinion, too.

Our distinguished poet Mirvarid Dilbazi recited a poem about women. Her poems are loved by our society. I like them, too. I think that the poem recited here reflects the best features of all the women. My favorite phrase was this: when nature changed the world, it substituted the paradise with a woman. It is true. It demonstrates the position of the women in the society. We, men, should know that the paradise is our women.

The Azerbaijani women are very brave. They bring up heroes for our people, scientists for the whole world. They are the contributions of our women. Now we are creating our own state. We are proud because we have brave and intelligent people. We are happy that we have women bringing up and increasing our people.

It is our duty to take care of our women. The Constitution of Azerbaijan includes the universal values on women rights. Today the position of women in our country is much higher than the position of women in other countries.

Now we are striving to develop our economy, the welfare of our population. I am sure that we shall succeed. We have already overcome the socio-economic crisis by the end of the seventh year since the independence of Azerbaijan. The economy and social life of Azerbaijan are developing. In the next years our economy will develop further. It means that the welfare of the women will be improved, too. But we want our country to reach the level of the economically developed countries. However, the literacy and freedom of our women are not lower than of those of women of the developed countries. It is a reality. We are finishing the 20th century with this reality.

It was quoted here what the French writer Louis Aragon once said: "Woman is the future of life of mankind". It is true. There is no life, no present, no future without women.

I wish that the Azerbaijani women will achieve more successes. On the part of the government, we shall create all necessary conditions for it. Many problems were discussed at the assembly women's problems last September. They will be solved, there will be a presidential decree on it, too. This decree will be issued very soon.

Our economy does not have big potentials. However, using all the opportunities we try to solve the problems of women. Women are the most respected members of our society. I congratulate you once again.

Even though I am not a poet, I have the spirit of poet. Therefore, I love women. Without loving women, one can never become a poet. Because poets feel women better.

I want to mention another feature of our women. It is their beauty. In the past we were not informed about other countries. There were arguments in the past - the women of which nationality are more beautiful? But I always think that our women are the most beautiful. I have already been to other countries. So I can conclude that our women are the most beautiful of all in the world. It is my own opinion. Thus, I recommend our men to love and respect our women. I cordially congratulate you and wish you the best. Thank you.

The newspaper "Azerbaycan", March 7, 1999