Tajikistan is an overwhelmingly patriarchal society where women face barriers to economic opportunities and career progress at work, and an unequal share of household duties at home. Changing attitudes of both men and women linked to tradition and experience is a necessity in challenging discrimination.
Gender-based violence is endemic and regularly affects between a third and half of all women in the country. While in recent years laws have been introduced to combat violence against women, many women are unwilling to report cases of violence against them and are often told to endure abuse for the sake of their family's reputation. Due to the large migration flows from Tajikistan, many women are left to look after their families without support from male household members. While many fathers and husbands send regular financial support, some families are left stranded without an income and are forced to rely on their wider families, or the state, while battling harmful prejudices from their communities.
EFCA-Tajikistan is committed to improving the lives and position of women in society through economic empowerment, advocacy and awareness-raising of the problems women face and the existing laws in Tajikistan which support gender equality. We believe in combatting gender-based violence and gender discrimination through a dual approach of improving the reporting and resolution of cases of violence and discrimination, and also improving the position of women within their families. This can be achieved through awareness-raising and economic empowerment of women. Enabling women to contribute to the financial security of their household can help them to improve their relationships with family members, and challenge perceptions of gender roles within their communities.
The EU funded project aims to increase the ease of reporting for victims of GBV, streamline institutional framework, expand the scope and awareness of legal remedies, and increase the availability of accurate data on GBV and its causes. This will be achieved through a comprehensive training programme aimed at police and law enforcement, including female police officers, as well as the establishment of a national GBV resource centre, and awareness raising.
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We established a women's collective where women attend practical training sessions on topics such as accounting, computer literacy, soil and water conservation and sewing skills. The project empowered rural women to seek employment and contribute to the financial stability of their families. The project piloted in Khuroson and was then expanded to Jahonzeb district.