Tashkent, 10 July 2020 - The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan (MoHSSE), the Delegation of the European Union in Uzbekistan and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched today a cross-border initiative aimed at supporting the economic empowerment of Afghan women through education grants to study in Uzbekistan.
The project aims to provide educational opportunities for Afghan women, who face disproportionate barriers to education and employment compared to their men counterparts back home.
Overall, 50 young women from Afghanistan will study and graduate from universities in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The European Union (EU) provided a €2 million grant for the initiative, which will be implemented by UNDP until 2025.
“Women are key contributors to the growth of their national economies. Yet they often face social barriers when it comes to equal access to education, decent work and equal pay. With better qualifications, women are expected to gain higher-profile private or public sector jobs that will allow them to contribute productively to the development of their country”, - says H.E. Eduards Stiprais, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Afghan women will study Agriculture in Uzbekistan and after graduation will receive TVET Certificates. Young Afghan women will study in the Education Center for the Training of Afghan citizens in Termez district supported by the Tashkent State Agrarian University.
MoHSSE has supported the realization of the project. “Uzbekistan supports peace in the neighboring friendly Afghan soil and considers this process as an important condition for achieving sustainable development in the Central Asian region”, - says Uktam Salomov, First Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of Uzbekistan.
In October 2019, the first cohort of Afghan women arrived to Kazakhstan to start their educational journey in the fields of Statistics, Agriculture and Mining. This year, 20 more students will be awarded scholarships. They will study Agriculture in Uzbekistan and Mining in Kazakhstan. Before obtaining specialized education, students will have to undertake language courses.
“Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls are not only fundamental human rights but also smart national strategy for the development and prosperity of the country”,- said Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan in conclusion of the launch ceremony.