November 19th, 2018
Ms. Kosimzoda Idigul Tago, Chairperson of the Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan;
Ms. Anvari Nigina, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Investment and State Property Management of the Republic of Tajikistan/ Head of the Taskforce on Women Entrepreneurship Support;
Distinguished participants, partners and friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you all at this remarkable event to celebrate the International women’s entrepreneurship day. This Day was proclaimed by global women activists with a purpose to alleviate the poverty worldwide by empowering, celebrating and supporting women in business. Nowadays, this day bring together business leaders, change makers, government officials and civil society to collaborate and find solutions in critical areas of entrepreneurship eco-systems, education and policy creation to empower women in business. Women Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated at the United Nations and in 144 countries, inspiring 250 million of women and girls living in poverty and empowering them for change. At this event today we bring women and men from both urban and rural settings to share their successes, lessons, to demonstrate the result of their work and creativity, and to inspire their peers. We want to bridge and connect the advanced and renowned champions, men and women, working in different spheres, with those who are making their first steps in business and social life. Today we would like once again to reiterate that when women are elevated financially, their families and communities, prosper, thus building an equitable basis to alleviate and eradicate poverty in the country.
In Tajikistan, throughout all UN programs and projects not only we spotlight the special needs of women and girls, but we engage successful and proactive women and men to serve as a role models, knowledge brokers and mentors for those vulnerable women and young girls who still need support, additional knowledge, skills and confidence for self-empowerment.
Over the last two years, the joint UN efforts in Tajikistan resulted in improved livelihood for vulnerable and disadvantaged women and gilrs due to: creation of additional 1,624 jobs, improved access of 293,122 people (including 53% women) to labor skills, technologies, services, rural infrastructure, and other services. To achieve these results we fostered our partnership with both civil society organizations, private sector, and the Government institutions at all levels.
Our mission and commitment to promote women’s role in Tajik economy and society is inspired and driven by the global Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and its gender equality nexus.
We are meeting at a time of many favorable changes such as for regional development, trade cooperation and domestic decision for export-oriented energy sector, diversification of economy, etc. creating unique window of opportunity for transforming Tajikistan’s economy, expanding domestic private sector and increasing employment. It is now common knowledge that majority of the jobs are created by SMEs and investing in entrepreneurship can not only help transform unemployed young men and women into major employers but also in promoting innovations and breaking barriers to longstanding development problems, especially in rural areas.
The Government of Tajikistan has taken a number of steps to promote entrepreneurship, skills development, giving special attention to women. We want to commend the State Investment Committee for taking a lead to promote women entrepreneurship agenda in the government’s policies. The taskforce acting under the umbrella of Investment committee serves as effective platform to strengthen the role and position of women in the private sector and to promote more inclusive business environment. The special fund to support women-led businesses, established with initiative of the President and managed by the Committee of Women and Family Affairs is contributing a lot to support development of SMEs in the country through provision of affordable credits to women entrepreneurs. The United Nation agencies, ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to address the pending issues and leverage the efforts undertaken by the Government to enhance the role of women in economic political and social life.
Nowadays women are taking up to income earning role and are managing business, especially in rural areas. However, their entrepreneurial progress is limited despite favourable laws in the country such as equal right to land, property and accessing bank loans. But women of Tajikistan require continued support to develop their business skills, and utilise the opportunities for business and jobs. We should also think together how to diversify the economic spheres for women’s engagement, to help women enter higher value chains and social business. Female financial literacy and gender sensitive entrepreneurship development approaches are essential in breaking barriers to tap into 50% of human capital of the country.
UN Agencies along with IFIs and several development partners are supporting government with some reforms, piloting solutions, skills development especially of women and youth, etc. but Tajikistan needs to scale up its efforts through a comprehensive, targeted, coordinated and time bound approach to entrepreneurship and improving business climate. UN stands ready to support with global best practices and other possible assistance.