Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

My name is Khuriyatkhon Tojiboeva, and I am a RAC technician from Fergana, and I had no background initially in this sphere.

I had a quite challenging, but interesting journey until I became a technician in refrigeration and air-conditioning. In the beginning, I started my job with cleaning fridges to prepare for repairing and that was to make a little income. Simultaneously, I used to observe technicians’ work process on how they deal with equipment and instruments. One day, it seems I got so interested in a welding process, that my teammates jokingly asked me “why don’t you try”. Of course, I said let me try to take welding equipment in my hands and practice a bit. Surprisingly, my hand did not shake, and I made it on the first try. That was the starting point in my career as a technician.

Khuriyatkhon Tojiboeva is one of the few women-technicians in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning sector of Uzbekistan, who can be a role model for other women and girls interested in a STEM area.

Afterwards, as I continued with this job I was asked if I would take a theoretical course as well, in this direction. Accordingly, I started training courses even though I had to save little earnings for living. As training required me to work hard there were times I struggled. However, a significant turn-point was to get qualified. Yet, I reminded myself this was the way to develop and support my family. As it says, “Through hardship to the stars”.

“I think it’s wrong to say that working with technical equipment is only men’s work. A motivated, self-confident person, a woman, for instance, can also manage that”.

Because learning and practicing is a process and is not that difficult, the important thing is that there must be a passion.

During 2 - 3 months of a probation period of my official job, there were times when I didn’t sleep for two days, and there were times when I didn’t eat on time because I tried to make sure that work was finished and not left undone. I was so fascinated that I watched over the night to see how many hours the refurbished refrigerators were working and in how many hours they turn off. Because, when I do the handover of the equipment there should be no defect when it is received.

I think every woman or girl should know how to make use of equipment because I notice they often don’t know how to use them. It’s true, there are manuals available, but they are written in a literary language and not everyone can understand it. If used incorrectly the equipment will break down faster. When the time is due, I realized this work can be done even at home. I can lift up to 10-15 kg, which is the average weight of equipment and instruments.

I want to say if a woman has willing, she can do that if she wants to because men and women both equally have enough strength. First of all, you should have courage, self-confidence. One shouldn’t think that it is only men’s job. You should maintain high motivation for the work you do. If 10 percent comes from talent, 90 percent should come from hard work. If it didn’t work once, you have to try again. If possible, you should ask someone the things you don’t know. I mean, at least, in terms of making use of technical equipment.

Now, no one can live without home appliances. Each house has a refrigerator, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, TV, etc. They make people’s lives easier. With their help, a person gets comfort. The same goes for the fridge so that one does not always run to the grocery store. Once purchased food can be kept in the fridge safely. With air-conditioning, room temperature can be kept sufficiently for our well-being.

Achieving equal rights for women is “the unfinished human rights struggle of this century”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres”.

Nowadays, in Uzbekistan, this challenge is finding new solutions, including the refrigeration and air conditioning sector – previously considered as men’s jobs only.

Gender equality, as one of the most important human rights, plays a key role in ensuring peace and harmony in society and the full realization of human potential through sustainable development. It’s been proven that involving women in community life leads to increased productivity and economic growth.

UNDP in Uzbekistan has been taking the necessary steps and measures for inclusiveness to make significant progress in ensuring gender equality at all levels.

Khuryatkhon Tojiboeva proved that a woman, demonstrating her skills and talent, can work successfully in the technical field such as refrigeration and air conditioning. This bright example demonstrates the high competitiveness of women and girls in the labour market of Uzbekistan. It is rewarding that this process speeds up!


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