Tashkent, 8 July 2021 – Women’s economic empowerment boosts a country’s productivity, increases economic diversification and boosts the bottom line of every economic measure ever developed. Furthermore, increasing women’s and girls’ educational attainment directly supports inclusive economic growth and thus stability and prosperity for everyone in the country.

This is why the UN Development Programme joined forces with the European Union and the Government of Uzbekistan to support and promote women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan.  Through this technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programme, organized within the context of the  “Supporting the Economic Empowerment of Afghan Women through Education and Training in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan” programme, ten Afghan women have seen their dreams come true.

A group of young Afghan women post for a photograph with Uzbekistan Ministry Representatives and UNDP Resident Representative Matilda Dimovska.

Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union in Uzbekistan, said she expects this initiative, organized in cooperation with Tashkent State Agrarian University, to contribute to the development of stability and peace in the region. “The European Union is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan in their path towards peace, security and prosperity,” she said. “This project is not only timely but also unique. It supports cross-border relations between the countries of Central Asia through educational exchange programmes and by building cultural ties between the people of these neighbouring countries.”

Through this programme, more than 50 Afghan women will obtain higher, technical and vocational education at various universities across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan by 2025.  Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, said that empowering women via education creates vast personal and economic impacts, such as generating opportunities to realize one’s potential and the ability to contribute to their communities upon returning to Afghanistan.

By increasing their academic qualifications, women will be able to secure higher-profile private and public sector jobs,” said Dimovska. “We fully expect the benefits will extend far beyond their personal spheres to include enhanced economic and social status for all women in their country.”

At a special event to mark the end of the first year of studies for the group of Afghan women, UNDP resident representative Matilda Dimovska said empowering women through educations empowers the entire country they represent. Image: UNDP Uzbekistan 

At a special event to mark the end of the first year of studies for the group of Afghan women, participants and stakeholders were provided with detailed information on the progress of the project, results and planned activities. In particular, as a result of the six-month intensive Uzbek language course, all 10 Afghan students are now able to communicate and discuss topics in Uzbek language with their teachers and local friends.

Yusuf Absoatov, Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan in conclusion of the event, said the students have completed the orientation programme in the field of agronomy. He said this module is important because the students could master the Uzbek language in basic subjects and prepare to work with farmers in real field work conditions.

Absoatov said his government fully supports all initiatives that can bring peace to its neighbours and thus to the region. “Uzbekistan fully supports peace in the neighboring friendly Afghan soil, and also develop new mobile education programmes for the people of Afghanistan, as in this project”, he said.

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