Ulviyya Iman

May you be blessed with a boy, inshallah, 2024 – Oil on canvas; 150 x 200 cm

Due to Azerbaijan’s patriarchal family structures, sons are considered to be more
socially and economically valuable than daughters. In 2022, Azerbaijan had the highest level of sex selective abortions in the world. There have been many cases in which the mother-in-law or other family members forced the mother to terminate a pregnancy due to the gender of the baby.

After giving birth to girls, most mothers hear variations of the phrase “Hopefully the next one is a boy”. This phrase is often said by other women.

In this work, “May you be blesed with a boy, inşallah”, the artist explores and criticizes the misogynistic values that are etched into our daily life and culture. She seeks to understand how it is considered normal to dismiss a daughter and wish for a boy, while also being a woman.

The work shows a family’s reaction to the birth of a girl, capturing the disappointment of the mother-in-law, the father’s realization and the mother’s tiredness. The work condemns societal norms and brings awareness to gender inequality in our country. 

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