Located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, Azerbaijan is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, and Armenia. It is one of the oldest oil-producing countries in the world. The majority of its 8.2 million residents are Turkic and Shi'ite Muslim. Azerbaijan was the first secular republic in the Muslim world, and the first Muslim nation to grant women suffrage. Separating from the Soviet Union in 1991, after 80 years of Russian and Soviet rule, Azerbaijan established a constitution with separation of powers and a presidential system.

As have many former Soviet republics, the newly independent country has suffered from economic and political crisis. From 1988 to 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia were at war over territory. As a result, 300,000 women and 185,000 men were displaced ...

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