Stepping up rural women's economic empowerment in Kyrgyzstan



women make up 52% of Caracas tans 5.5 million population 65 percent of women live in rural areas women make up 75% of rural workforce however their wages are lower and unemployment rates are higher than among men poor infrastructure restricted access to the resources and services limited job opportunities inequalities and unrecognized home making posed a number of challenges for rural women's empowerment in 2014 un woman WFP FAO and Aoife joined forces to implement the accelerating progress towards economic empowerment of rural women project aiming at increasing income opportunities and enhancing leadership of rural women over 1,700 rural women in 45 villages of the Kyrgyz Republic directly benefited from this initiative rural women are key contributors to the Kyrgyz economy therefore the RWE aims to empower women socially and economically enhance their human capital students skills training capacity and leadership building RWE also prioritizes women to learn how to address the roots of the gender-based violence to ensure they can fully benefit the rights and opportunities I used to work as a primary teacher but low salary was insufficient to support the family with three children my husband didn't have a permanent job so often we struggled to survive few years ago I joined seven other women to attempt the RV training after the training established a self-help group and decided to grow vegetables for selling we live in a high maintenance area and we never imagined people grow vegetable in such challenging climatic conditions but our strategy proved to be successful today our group owns a greenhouse enabling us to grow vegetable all year round and receive sustainable incomes they plan to expand our greenhouse and involve more rural women in our agricultural business our greenhouse business is profitable that we can afford all the necessities for our households and even more for instance recently we bought a car something I wouldn't dream of before we plan to extend our agricultural business and open a food canning workshop economic prosperity has brought a social and political dividends we actively collaborate with local authorities to claim forest resources I'm also nominated to run for a Community Council election to address the numerous challenges faced by rural women we will focus on developing rural infrastructure and opening a community kindergarten the UN also arranged a series of leadership and gender training following that they also arranged a series of community discussions on how to prevent gender-based violence in particular we raised the issue zero tolerance towards child marriages and bride kidnapping we urged our community each and every member to eliminate all forms of violence against women and start with their own households the stories of these women exemplified the massive work since 2014 over 1,700 rural women were directly involved in income generating activities while thousands more benefited from immediate and long-term results seventy-nine women groups run businesses ranging from traditional she breeding bakery and handicraft production to growing flowers and providing photo and video services hundred and ninety women received training in green housing dressmaking hairdressing and house painting forty-three rural funds are established to coordinate the activities of women led self-help groups support to manage the revolving funds and represent women in dealing with local authorities the government of the Kyrgyz Republic fully supports us RWE which aligns with a national sustainable development and gender equality priorities the rwe is a good example of a holistic approach to tackle raw poverty improve food security and promote gender equality through RWE we managed to improve a legal framework for women in parliament in particular who submitted to draft laws to the parliament while fifteen local authorities across the country continue draft and local gender responsive development plans I think the UN partners and donors for their support in urge to continue finding this crucial activity

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