August 23, 2021, Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Today, the U. S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) hosted a Women’s Summit entitled, ‘The Power of Women: Growth
Trends of Post-Pandemic and Beyond’ for women leaders, entrepreneurs, women-owned small-
and-medium-sized enterprises, activists, influencers, bloggers, women-led business associations,
and relevant non-government organizations.
The Women’s Summit gathered stakeholders to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has
exacerbated gender inequalities and reinforces the urgency to maintain strong economic
growth and improve women’s participation in the formal economy. Women’s participation
remains at the heart of rebuilding and economic recovery efforts. Over 80 participants from
Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and India attended the
Summit representing policymakers, leaders of businesses, international organizations,
innovators, entrepreneurs, and designers.
The Summit is called on to set up a high-level dialogue platform to highlight the contribution of
women from Central Asia and India performing various roles to tackle COVID-19 implications
and address post-pandemic challenges, as well as discuss the potential of women in the
workforce, post-pandemic trends, and opportunities to bridge the gender disparity.
Speaking at the Summit, USAID Uzbekistan Mission Director, Mikaela Meredith, noted: “At
USAID, gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the core of our development work.
During this summit, we looked at the unique role of women in tackling the pandemic and post-
pandemic implications. I hope this summit will lead to a permanent networking platform and
positively shape women’s economic integration for years to come.”
This event is organized by USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs activity and the
Kazakhstan Agency for International Development, in collaboration with the U.S. Department
of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program.
During the event, the speakers shared their insights and successes in overcoming pandemic-
related challenges and highlighted the unique role of women in tackling post-pandemic
implications to sustain incomes and create new jobs. Participants learnt about numerous
examples of the tremendous efforts undertaken by women across Central and South Asia,
including the work on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, newly emerged education
features to meet workforce demands, social innovations, and startups.
USAID supports gender gap reduction in the countries of the region as well as addresses
challenges related to women’s participation in the labor force. Exposure of young girls and
women to economic opportunities, education, increased trade and connectivity brings positive
impact on prosperity, growth, and welfare. Collectively, the U.S. government’s efforts will
contribute to the long-term economic sustainability and competitiveness of women-owned
businesses in the region.
USAID partners with the Government of Uzbekistan to diversify the country’s economy and
increase regional trade, address serious health threats – including COVID-19 – and build the
government’s capacity to respond to the population’s needs. For more information, please visit: