From November 20 to November 22, 2022, the first training "The role and participation of women in the development of local communities" was held in the village of Makhtimain, Yagnob Valley (Ayni district), organized by the environmental organization Little Earth as part of the project "Sustainable use of natural resources and women's participation in mountain communities of Yagnob”.
For three days, twenty women from 5 villages in the valley - the target group of the project - discussed issues of gender equality and stereotypes, negative social norms and prejudices that limit women's participation in the development of their own communities. The event also gave them the opportunity to share their own opinions on the most pressing problems in the villages and the measures they consider necessary to take to improve the situation.
To conduct a training seminar, the Little Earth hired a qualified trainer who specializes in the field of gender equality and has extensive experience in conducting such events, including in rural areas. However, even she was surprised by the tough conditions in which people live in the valley and the difficulties that local women have to face.
“I seemed to have fallen into a parallel world that lives its own life far from civilization, technology, the Internet and mobile communications. The women here are the real heroes. They live without health care, without shops, without pharmacies, without quality education. They work from morning to evening. They give birth right at home. None of our twenty participants had a complete school education - women literally could neither write nor read,” Sanoat Nurmatova, invited trainer, shares her impressions.
The training was interactive and involved the participants in the learning process. The program included group assignments, role-playing games, simulation games and general discussions. As part of the training, concrete examples of projects were also presented, where the participation of women made it possible to achieve more effective results. All women came to such an event for the first time, a lot had to be explained in simple terms, helping the representatives of the target group to overcome internal barriers and fears.
Women and children are the most affected by environmental degradation. Although women manage natural resources at the family and community levels on a daily basis, they have very limited influence on decision-making. Obviously, without the equal participation of women, the decisions made will be ineffective and not sustainable. That is why the Little Earth pays special attention to these issues.
“We clearly understand that one training is not enough and it is necessary to continue working with the target group further. As part of the project, we plan to conduct two more trainings with women - on sustainable management of natural resources and sustainable energy solutions. Later, they will all receive energy-saving equipment sets that will help them reduce fuel use, save money and improve sanitation,” says Anton Timoshenko, executive director of the Little Earth.
The project "Sustainable use of natural resources and participation of women in the mountain communities of Yagnob" is implemented by the Little Earth with the support of the Swedish association "Forum-CIV" and the Swedish partner "Centralasiengrupperna".
Timur Idrisov, The Little Earth