UCA Launches Gender Equality Workshop
Is there a connection between gender equality and snow removal in the cities during wintertime? Apparently, on the day of a snowfall, a male member of the family is likely to take a car to get to his office, while a female would walk to take a child to the kindergarten or school, or help her elder relative to the hospital, or run to the nearby store. While the male’s movements is a direct line from point A to point B, the female often moves in a zigzag pattern. Moreover, a woman who is likely to use pedestrian roads, is also more likely to receive trauma from falling on a slippery pavement. The current urban planning, possibly unintentionally, prioritizes the needs of drivers over pedestrians and the needs of men over women.
This was only one of multiple examples discussed during the three-day online workshop of the School for the Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) organized by the University of Central Asia (UCA).
The workshop brought together 60 participants from two Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In both countries, women experience inequality when it comes to access to formal employment or income distribution. The Workshop participants from diverse walks of life, including representatives of women’s urban and rural NGOs and THE mass media, were urged to contribute to changing these inequalities.
According to Dinara Musabekova, the director of UCA’s Civil Society Initiative, over the next year SAGE plans to support organisations advancing gender equality in the region by helping them with advocacy at multiple levels. Gender advocacy helps to promote gender aspects in urban planning, puts gender on the political agenda and brings it into legislation.
During 2022, SAGE participants will participate in an advanced advocacy course and educational trips. They will implement their advocacy projects and present the outcomes at the SAGE regional forum. In addition high performing school graduates would receive small grants to address gender issues in their communities.
The first UCA SAGE workshop was conducted from December 7th to December 9th, 2021. SAGE is funded by the Government of Canada, through Advancing Gender Equality through Civil Society (AGECS) under the Foundations for Health and Empowerment (F4HE) program. AGECS has brought Canadian $ 500,000 to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations, women's groups, and community leaders to advance public goods, especially gender equality, improve access to health care, and improve child protection in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.