First-ever female demining teams in Azerbaijan officially accredited
29 November 2023
Eighteen newly trained female deminers received their accreditation certificates during the closing ceremony in Baku with participation of high-level officials from ANAMA, the European Union, UNDP, and other officials. The event aimed to present certificates to the accredited deminers after successfully completing six-week trainings in line with the International Mine Action Standards. This accreditation enables them to start demining operations in fields.
Through the theoretical and practical trainings, the teams of female deminers acquired the foundational knowledge, necessary skills and the required code of conduct to recognize, detect and mark mines and unexploded ordnance, and to provide first aid. The training series was conducted by the international experts of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) non-governmental organization.
As a result of the process, 2 demining teams of 24 people, including 18 deminers, 2 healthcare workers, 2 team leaders and 2 deputy team leaders were accredited. In the same manner, 12 rats and 8 demining dogs were trained within the Project and all of them successfully passed the accreditation.
In his opening speech, Mr. Vugar Suleymanov, the Chairman of the Board of ANAMA, congratulated the participants who successfully passed the trainings and wished them success in their responsible activities.
In his turn, Mr. Peter Michalko, the EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan, stressed that this initiative promotes the values of the European Union, where women and men must enjoy equal opportunities, capabilities, and knowledge: “I am proud to announce that the European Union has played a leading role in establishing the very first women demining team in the country”, he concluded the speech.
Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, the UNDP Resident Representative a.i., noted that humanitarian demining is a critical part of UNDP’s development efforts in Azerbaijan and is one of the top priorities that the organization shares and works on with the Government: “Involvement of women in such an important activity as humanitarian demining is especially essential and will make many contributions towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals."
The trainings of the first-ever female demining team were organized as part of the Supporting Safe Return of Internally Displaced People Through Capacity Building of Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ANAMA) project funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP in partnership with ANAMA and the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) and MAG. The Project aims to support the humanitarian mine action operations carried out in Azerbaijan and to draw attention to the importance of gender equality in the fight against the mine threat.