UCA Training Improves Livelihoods for Women
The Civil Society Initiative (CSI) of the University of Central Asia (UCA) has launched a six-month online training programme to build a community of women practitioners who can share knowledge, experiences, and practices in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 40 representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) from Kyrgyzstan are attending this online training which was launched on September 2, 2020.
Entitled “Women’s Voices amid the COVID-19 Crisis”, the selected participants are winners of an online competition among women-led and gender equality-focused CSOs, who developed best ideas for improving the local health infrastructure to meet the needs of vulnerable women. Another objective is developing prevention measures and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
Women-led and gender equality-focused CSOs were selected by the Aga Khan Foundation, and will be awarded a small grant to implement their projects at the local level after they pass these courses. Apart from gaining new knowledge and skills, participants also get support and mentoring for drafting outlines of collaborative actions for COVID-19.
Veronica Cretu, an international gender expert, is leading the online workshop. She is a representative of the Participation Council to the UN, and Women Moldova and Global Woman Aspirational Award Winner of 2019. Ms. Cretu has considerable experience working in Central Asia on issues related to gender equality, open government, citizen engagement, and open data.
Nurzida Monoldorova, one of 40 participants, is excited about this training programme and confident that the knowledge and skills she is gaining during the training at UCA, will help her organization to achieve their project goals more effectively.
The main goal of our project is to support pregnant, breastfeeding women, and single mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We work with women from the remote ‘Bash-Kayindy’ village of At-Bashy district in the Naryn region. Out of 5143 villagers, 50% are women. The vulnerable group of the community includes 252 families.” – Nurzida Monoldorova from the Women’s Council of Naryn City.
“Women’s Voices amid the COVID-19 Crisis” is a six-month online training project of UCA, funded by the Aga Khan Foundation and Global Affairs Canada, Foundations for Health and Empowerment, and Advancing Gender Equality and Civil Society.
UCA is committed to working on empowering local communities as well as developing partnerships with government in building a better understanding of the role of civil society. Since 2017, UCA’s Civil Society Initiative has been fostering an enabling policy and administrative environment for civil society in Central Asia, and to assist the development of a broad spectrum of civil society actors.
Previously CSI also organised a workshop on “Citizen Engagement with Open Government Data” in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The event was aimed at raising awareness of civil society organizations of the importance of Open Government Partnership (OGP), and strengthening the capacity of participants to monitor the implementation of the "Achyk Okmot" National Action Plan for 2018-2020 to build an Open Government in Kyrgyzstan. Since civic engagement is the keystone of OGP, CSI strives to support civil society actors to help them better use the OGP process, monitor implementation of Government’s commitments, and promote their own advocacy agenda.
CSI’s initial geographical focus is Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, with a long-term goal to expand to other countries of Central Asia. Through extensive rural and urban outreach, it aims to facilitate an exchange of knowledge through community networks.