As part of the WAGE (Women and Girls Empowered) regional program, a WAGE program was presented in Dushanbe on April 22.

During the meeting, challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Tajikistan were discussed.

The event participants included representatives of government agencies, business associations, donor organizations and women entrepreneurs from Tajikistan as well as representatives of the WAGE regional team (offline and online from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan).  

Ms. Myrzagul Bayaliyeva, the Search for Common Ground Public Organization (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), has told Asia-Plus in an interview that one of initiatives of the program is to develop the national agenda of female entrepreneurship in Tajikistan, which is a roadmap for solution of gender problems in business and employment.  

“To this end the Consultative Council was set up on March 3, 2022.  Its members include representatives of 18 local business associations and civil society protecting female entrepreneurs’ interests,” Ms. Bayaliyeva noted.  

The following are the main obstacles facing female entrepreneurs in Tajikistan: gender stereotypes; double burden for women – work and unpaid household work; access to employment; access to financing; low financial and legal literacy; poor workplace safety caused by; and others.

It was noted during the discussions that in Tajikistan, a share of women in medium-sized business is fewer than 20 percent; this indicates that women's potential in this direction is not fully utilized in the country.  

WAGE program is aimed at creating and supporting national and regional alliances of women organizations.  Its objective is in expanding opportunities for women from Central Asia’s for participation in economic activities.  

Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) is a global consortium funded by the U.S. State Department Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) to advance the status of women and girls. The consortium is led by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in close partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Grameen Foundation, and Search from Common Ground (SFCG). WAGE works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector and semi-private sector organizations, including microfinance institutions (MFIs) and business associations, in target countries to: 1) improve the prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV); 2) advance the women, peace, and security agenda; and 3) support women’s economic empowerment.