THE YEAR OF DIALOGUE WITH THE PEOPLE AND HUMAN INTERESTS
June 16, 2016
PEERS OF INDEPENDENCE
In 1991, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan was set up. Today, the association brings together 207 regional branches, with more than 41,000 principal organizations. One of the major areas of its activity is international cooperation.
Within the framework of its competences, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan has been working on the development of bilateral and multilateral international cooperation in political and legal areas. How effective it has been is evaluated by Dilbar Alimjanova responsible for international cooperation.
“How wide is the range of issues that your direction is busy with?
“The main purpose of the committee is to provide comprehensive support, protection of rights and legal interests of women. To ensure the effectiveness of women’s public organizations of the country created to improve the social, socio-political and labor activity of women, the level of their legal and economic knowledge, international activities of the committee includes interaction with international institutions and foreign nongovernmental organizations.
In recent years, our ties are actively growing and developing. The partnership network now includes more than 10 organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uzbekistan, UN-Women, the Asian Development Bank, the Foundation of German Savings Banks, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the European Union Programs of Institutional Development and Partnership.
“What kind of specific projects are under consideration?”
“For example, cooperation with the Foundation of German Savings Banks is carried out in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers resolution of 11 July 2014. The document laid basis to implement the project “Support for the financial sector of the Republic of Uzbekistan” during 2014-2016. Within its framework, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan performs a partnership commitment in the field of information and advice. The main objective of the project is the development of entrepreneurship among women and young people, especially those living in rural areas, their active involvement in the economic sphere. During 2015 alone, in 13 regional information and advisory groups, more than 2,500 women received counseling on financial services rendered in the country, information about the conditions created for business development. 102 seminars were organized aimed at raising the financial awareness of representatives of small business and private entrepreneurship. In order to improve financial literacy 159 seminars were organized across the country’s colleges and lyceums on the theme “The first independent steps of graduates” with the participation of about 4 thousand students.
In December last year, a joint project, “Promoting preschool education of children”, was completed with UNICEF, which was implemented in the framework of the State program “Year of healthy child”. Its goal is to improve the conditions in preschool educational institutions through the active involvement of regional and mahalla committees, women consultants in the process of raising awareness among parents about the importance of preschool education. Speaking about the results, 820 consultants of mahallas increased their knowledge, which will contribute to the successful involvement of children, especially girls, in short-stay groups organized in the framework of a joint project of UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan.
In order to expand economic opportunities for women and young people, a 22-month project “New social assistance programs to enhance income opportunities for vulnerable families” was completed in 2015 in collaboration with the agency Formaper (Italy) in the framework of programs of institutional development and partnerships, funded by the European Union. The scheme produced a group of local consultants and coaches to provide information, advice and practical support for the population in the development of small and private business: elaboration of business plans, state registration of business entities, registration of documents for microcredits.
645 women and girls have received necessary knowledge to participate actively in the socio-economic life, 137 of them started their business by being granted preferential loans.
The country program of cooperation between the Government of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) implemented two educational programs. On the first, eight trainings for 161 consultants of citizens’ assemblies were conducted in four regions (Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Tashkent region and Tashkent city). The purpose of the training is to raise the level of legal knowledge and medical culture, the study of international conventions and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the sphere of social protection of motherhood and childhood, reproductive health and women’s rights to full family support and improve medical culture of the population. On the second track, 28 trainings conducted all regions of the country for law enforcement officers on the topic “Creating a healthy social and spiritual atmosphere in the family by introducing into practice the norms and principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women”. In total, 689 people took part in them, of which 347 were decision-makers, 342 were employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Do you work with international organizations only, or are there any foreign embassies among your partners?”
“Embassies are willing to cooperate with us. For example, the UK diplomatic mission in conjunction with the Women’s Committee of Chust district in Namangan region has organized a joint business forum titled “Women and Business”. It was attended by experienced entrepreneurs and experts invited by the British side. They held workshops for rural women on floristry as well as modern methods of designer processing and sewing garments of national fabrics. In addition, the experts conducted sessions on improving entrepreneurial literacy and business planning.
“For your organization, the year 2016 marks a milestone. Are you planning any special events on the occasion?”
At present, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan is in talks on the conclusion of two-year joint plans with UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women.
In February this year, with financial support from ADB, we held a workshop on the development of financing of female entrepreneurship under the State Program \"Year of Healthy Mother and Child.\" It was attended by representatives of the Committee of Women of Uzbekistan, Business Women’s Association, and the Chamber of Commerce from all regions.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)