Son preference is still widespread in Azerbaijan, rooted in social norms that attach lower value to girls than to boys. This has led to a highly skewed sex ratio at birth, with 114 boys born for every 100 girls, according to official statistics--one of the highest imbalances in the world.
But there are indications that the underlying norms have started to shift, and more and more parents do not care whether they have boys or girls as children. Others take pride in having a daughter.
This gallery features photos that dads in Azerbaijan posted of themselves and their daughters on social media, telling their friends and communities why they think daughters are special.
The photos came in response to a Facebook call by our nonprofit partner “Clean World” under the
EU 4 Gender Equality programme, funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA.
"My sweet, sweet angel...How happy we were when we learned on ultrasound that our first child would be a girl. My prayers were answered. When I'm tired from work, to regain my energy, my Powerbank is a girl. She calls me abva, that is, father. May God save all the children, especially the daughters." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"I have 2 daughters. If my God gives me more, I will only be glad and never say enough!" Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"My 6 month old daughter's biggest success is having a father who is happy and grateful to have a daughter." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"She is my friend, my confidant. She is 12 years old, she loves books, like me, draws beautiful pictures, plays the piano, she is very curious. I am proud of her she is my smile, my sun." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"If this continues, then in our house the last word will always be with my daughter." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"The biggest success in my daughter's life is that she, just like me, opens the cover of my mobile phone with her cheek, she is very similar to me." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"My daughter and I want to paint the world. We start our dream by painting the walls of our house." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"To be the father of a girl is not something to be ashamed of, it is PERFECT." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"My greatest success is my daughter. I will do my best for the success of my daughter, I hope. I love you, my daughter!" Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"What makes me happy is my daughter's interest in education. She will be able to stand on her own two feet. I will always be there as her shadow to support her." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"The first tree we planted with my daughter. She trusts me a lot and believes that we will soon see the fruits of the tree we planted together." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan
"When mom is not at home, we have to cook with my daughter. It seems that the dinner will be salty." Photo: Clean World Azerbaijan