Baku - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

As noted above, African-American and east Asian Americans might get stares but no outright hostility, more out of curiosity. Others who blend in will be mistaken for locals by guards and LE staff. - Sep 2023

Prejudices against LGBT are very obvious. Those with darker skin could get some looks and lack of acknowledgment from locals. - Aug 2023

I'd say that for anyone who might blend into the local demographic you will likely have a very different experience at post. I feel like I don't get as much attention - for better or worse. I don't often receive the same level of hospitality that I hear Azerbaijanis are known for because I look local - but also don't get ripped off or taken advantage of as often, it seems. - Jun 2023

Nothing that you'll see that's really blatant or visible, unless you are Armenian and then you should really think hard about whether you want to live here. The anti-Armenian attitude seems really pervasive, and even some of my introverted local staff become very passionate whenever you mention Armenia. Gender equality is definitely an issue, but it's harder to see in Baku. Pre-Covid there were a lot of Arab tourists and it also seemed they could be discriminated against. - Jun 2021

Azerbaijanis mostly still have the traditional roles in their minds, with the women taking care of the home and children and the men earning the money, but I find Azerbaijani men very polite towards women. Azerbaijani women enjoy the same legal rights, but like in so many other countries, societal discrimination seems to remain. - Jul 2018

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is still very real in the Caucasus, and great animosity between the two countries accompanies that. It feels as though Azerbaijan is terrified of becoming a source of Islamic terrorism, so even though it's a Muslim country, the government closely watches conservative religious adherents. Azerbaijan is dominantly Shia and many Sunnis practice quietly rather than overtly. As a part of the former Soviet Union, atheism and lack of strong religious belief is common. Black people remain a source of curiosity for many Azerbaijanis, so they can expect to be stared at, asked to pose in photos, or potentially touched. Women are definitely considered the weaker, fairer sex. Chivalry is in no danger of dying in Azerbaijan anytime soon, but women have to work hard to be looked at as more than a pretty face. Men seem to have free rein to do as they please with their free time, while women are expected to be home taking care of children, dinner, and home. Azerbaijan is a strongly conformist society, with a strong desire by many to fit in, blend in, and not draw attention to themselves. - May 2018

Yes, some gender inequality. My children are biracial and there's a lot of unwanted attention given to them. - Mar 2017

Women are rapidly becoming equals but this is still a male-dominated society. The Muslim influence is light but ever-present here. There is more of a Soviet feel to the city than a Middle-Eastern feeling to Baku. - Jul 2015

Women don't drive here much. As a woman driving I get some strange looks, but no problems. Any religious proselytizing is strictly illegal, but quiet alternate religious activity is allowed. As for personal prejudices, I haven't had experience either way. From what I've seen, Azeris view foreigners fairly tolerantly and like a mildly funny joke. - Jan 2013

Not quite sure -- possibly. - Dec 2011

It is a very male-dominated society. - Sep 2010

Yes. Foreigners are cheated constantly (taxi and markets), and it is expected/accepted. Women are treated very poorly. - Aug 2010

No - Oct 2009

They hate female drivers. They look at us like we don"t know what we are doing and tend to try to run us off the road more so then the men. - Nov 2008

This is a Muslim country so women are not usually in positions of authority. - Sep 2008

It's rare to see women out alone (especially at night) or in any kind of management position. - Sep 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More