To combat gender inequality in Tajikistan, one US-CAEF alumna hosted a women's empowerment workshop in the country's second largest city.
By Zarrinakhon Mulloboeva
Women in Tajikistan face major inequality issues. They have fewer opportunities for education and employment compared to other countries. As I was first chosen to become a FLEX exchange student and then a US-CAEF fellow, I wanted to give back to my community by empowering women like me to pursue their dreams and to not be afraid to speak up.
I was selected to receive a FLEX Alumni grant to conduct a three-day training, "Girls for Girls," in my hometown of Khujand, the second largest city in Tajikistan. The event gathered 20 girls aged 15-17 from different backgrounds who had an opportunity to learn about the success stories of women leaders, take part in open discussions, and engage in games and activities. The training was conducted entirely in English and included topics such as project management, healthy lifestyles, personal finance, public speaking, and educational and volunteering opportunities.
The workshop created a platform that connected girls with their peers to talk about the change that they can create in their communities. Since the workshop, the participants have had the opportunity to take additional trainings on leadership, the role of women in society, and financial planning sponsored by Imon International, a microfinance institution in Tajikistan.
The Girls for Girls project fosters equal opportunities for both genders. As a result of the project, the participants have developed a better understanding of their rights and opportunities and have became inspired by female community leaders to implement their own projects.
I hope the workshop will help the participants to achieve success in the workplace and become active members of the community, dedicated to creating positive change.
About the US-Central Asia Foundation
The US-Central Asia Education Foundation Enterprise Student Fellowship Program (US-CAEF) is an academic scholarship program of the US-Central Asia Education Foundation and is administered by American Councils for International Education. US-CAEF provides funding for undergraduate study in business administration and economics through the Enterprise Student Fellowships.
Fellowships fund student enrollment at the American University of Central Asia and the Kazakhstan Institute of Management Economics and Strategic Research, which are leading Western-style institutions in the region. The fellowships are awarded to qualified students based on academic merit and financial need. Classroom experiences are enhanced through the Enterprise Regional Internship Program, which allows students to gain valuable work experience at local companies following their second year. Upon graduation, a select number of fellows take part in the International Capstone Program, a four-month internship program based in Washington, DC. The foundation further strengthens the quality of business education through professional workshops for regional faculty to improve teaching skills, knowledge and course curricula.
About the Future Leaders Exchange Program
The Future Leaders Exchange or FLEX program is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the US Department of State. FLEX students who pass multiple rounds of testing earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a US high school. FLEX students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about FLEX countries and cultures. FLEX is a highly competitive program with over 24,000 alumni who have contributed over one million hours of community service in cities and towns across America. The students return home to active alumni networks that carry out inspiring activities. Learn more about hosting a FLEX student.