October 7, 2022, Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a vocational and entrepreneurship training program for approximately 1,000 rural women who are either survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) or are at-risk for GBV. USAID will also support graduates in finding skilled employment and starting their own businesses. This initiative is part of USAID’s $3.4 million Women’s Economic Empowerment program supporting rural women in Uzbekistan through equipping them with the skills they need to enter the economy as skilled employees and entrepreneurs.
USAID Mission Director Mikaela Meredith explained, “Preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of the U.S. Government’s commitment to advancing human rights, promoting gender equality, and empowering women and girls. By providing access to training and employment opportunities to vulnerable women and survivors of gender-based violence, USAID supports inclusive economic growth and gender empowerment.”
In recent years the Government of Uzbekistan has taken several important steps to fight GBV including passing the Law on Protecting Women from All Forms of Harassment and Violence and allocating $40 million per year for the implementation of the National Gender Strategy 2030.
By providing tailored vocational skills and entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and financial support, USAID stimulates women’s participation in public and economic life and addresses rural poverty, a root cause of gender-based violence.
The training will take place in Bukhara, Samarkand, Fergana, Tashkent, and Surkhandarya. Vocational training will focus on skill-building in nursing, artisanship, agribusiness, floriculture, and culinary professions. Entrepreneurship training will cover financial management, business planning, accounting, and marketing. The program will be administered by NGOs including Oydin Nur, Rahmdillik, Mehrjon, Nihol, and the Civic Initiatives Support Center.
Since April 2022, USAID has provided business and entrepreneurship training to more than 1,000 rural women and girls. Over 100 women have already obtained employment and 300 women have registered as entrepreneurs. USAID is also financing approximately 30 female-led businesses specializing in crafts, agritourism, and agriculture and providing 200 rural women with the equipment necessary to start micro-businesses through USAID’s Gender Development Fund.
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: https://www.usaid.gov/uzbekistan, and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUzbekistan/