Women's Entrepreneurship in Tajikistan
Many topics were discussed in the framework of the first International Congress of Women of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS Countries in Novosibirsk on July 3-4. They concerned the role of women in different fields of life.
Marhabo Latifzoda Olimi, the First Deputy Head of the Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, spoke about women’s entrepreneurship activity as one of the factors of sustainable development of the country.
“Starting with first days of its independence Tajikistan aims at using women's potential for sustainable development of the country. Ensuring effective gender policy is a priority of our state in the social sphere”, she said.
Over the years of independence, Tajikistan has taken a big step towards eliminating stereotypes concerning women and towards real gender equality.
In 2005 the country had adopted a law that introduced the prohibition of gender discrimination and recognized the equality of men and women in political, economic, social, cultural and other spheres. According to the speaker, the economic empowerment of women, improving the competitiveness of women in the labour market and the development of their business activities started playing a key role in achieving gender equality. In the context of the expected reforms there was the adoption of various laws, the approval of policies and programmes and improvement of numerous legal acts.
From 2011 to 2020 the country keeps to a national strategy for enhancing the role of women in the Republic of Tajikistan. The main purpose of this document is to create prerequisites and favourable conditions for the fullest realization of abilities of women in all spheres of public life for the sustainable development of society. Much attention in the strategy is paid to employment and supporting entrepreneurial activity of women.
Thus Tajikistan has established a system of steadily developing women's entrepreneurship. The ongoing gender policy in the Republic of Tajikistan encourages women's activities in the public sphere and in the market economics, it also stimulates the private initiatives of women. All this contributed to interest of the citizens in new fields of activity.
According to Marhabo Latifzoda Olimi, in Tajikistan in the framework of major international and national economic investment forums there are events focused on women's entrepreneurship, where business ladies share their experience and share their success stories. Since 2014 there are major business forums for women with the involvement of international investors. Thus during the last 3 years more than 6,000 women were able to obtain financial support.
In addition, the country has a special education program. Thanks to it, women entrepreneurs received an opportunity to improve their economic and legal literacy through taking part in workshops and attending classes. There are also training centres for housewives and young women where they can learn a new profession, get necessary skills and knowledge.
A system of presidential grants for the development of women's entrepreneurship also operates in Tajikistan. Annually the government invests 2 million Tajikistani somoni in the implementation of this program.
Much attention is paid to reducing women's unemployment. The speaker said that one of the most effective trends in women's employment policy was to support initiatives of women in the organization of self-employment through microcredit. According to Marhabo Latifzoda Olimi, it has become an effective tool of the strategy to reduce poverty.
Such activities of Tajikistan led to the fact that the number of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, including women is growing rapidly.
The speaker spoke about prospects of creation of more favourable conditions for women's business in Tajikistan. This included improving the system of women's entrepreneurship through financial support, development of mechanisms of participation of women in business, creation of conditions for development of social entrepreneurship, expansion, family business, creating a wide network of jobs at home with free work schedules and etc. In conclusion of her report Marhabo Latifzoda Olimi expressed confidence that the meeting within the framework of the International Congress of Women of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS Countries was very useful. It will help in improving the quality of lives of women and the development of many countries.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov