6 Promote gender equality and empower women

Where we are?

 Promote gender equality and empower women
Students from different universities having debates on social problems at Aga Khan Humanities Project. © Mikhail Romanyuk

In 1991, the Committee on Women and Family Affairs was established under the Government of Tajikistan. The mandate of the Committee is to promote and implement policies to improve the status of women in all spheres of public life. Tajikistan has made decisive steps toward gender equality since its independence in 1991, but still a number of economic, political, cultural and other barriers must be overcome to achieve de facto equality between men and women.

As Tajik girls approach the age of 15 their school enrollment is sharply reduced. Reducing the number of girls in high school together with the prevalence of traditional gender stereotypes, combined with low standards of living of the population affects the real accessibility of higher education for girls. In comparison with men, a smaller percentage of women have higher education, and the precentage is even lower for rural women. The country is unlikely to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015.

In Tajikistan the participation of women in the labour market is weak (31.1%). But microfinance organizations have made a significant contribution to improving women’s economic activity, specifically targeting women with their projects. Between 2006 and 2009, 190 projects were implemented, which resulted in job creation for 15,000 women. But unfortunately the income of women lags still far behind that of men.

In general there has been a low level of female representation in the legislative bodies of state and a small number of women in leadership positions in Tajikistan. A 30% representation of women in governing bodies of legislative, judicial and executive power has not been achieved. The number is even decreasing at all levels of government.

Despite a number of measures taken by the Government to prevent violence against women, Tajikistan has not yet adopted a National Action Plan and national statistics on the prevalence of violence, and only in 2012 adopted the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Targets for MDG3
  1. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
    • Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
    • Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
    • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament