On August 6, U.S. Ambassador Susan M. Elliott joined the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan (NABWT) to launch the Women’s Entrepreneurship for Empowerment project in Qurghonteppa. Deputy Governor of Khatlon Abdujabbor Bakhodurov also participated and delivered remarks at the opening ceremony.
The three-year project aims to reduce poverty by advancing women’s capacity to create successful businesses within the agriculture sector. The Women’s Entrepreneurship for Empowerment project contributes to gender equality and female empowerment by inspiring and supporting women who want to start small businesses. This program also supports the priorities of President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative on food security and nutrition, which USAID implements in Khatlon. Feed the Future strives to increase agricultural production and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. It also works to improve nutrition in Tajikistan, especially of women and children.
Ambassador Elliott emphasized the critical role women have in development and the importance of empowering women with social, financial, and political resources. “Programs that provide women opportunities to better their health, education, and well-being have effects far beyond a single individual. Investing in a woman’s future can help create a better life for her family, which helps build stronger communities for everyone.”
NABWT General Director Gulbahor Makhkamova said, “The program will work with household farms and small businesses, focusing particularly on women-headed households, within fruit and vegetable markets. The program will focus in these areas because of their importance in providing nutrition and food security for the family.”
The United States Government is committed to continuing its support and assistance to the people of Tajikistan and will continue to encourage an enhanced role for women in promoting the economic growth of Tajikistan. Since 1992, the American people have provided over $1 billion in programs and humanitarian aid that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education and economic growth.