The inaugural CAREC Award for Advancing Gender Equality recognized eleven organizations and individuals from ten member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tajikistan Resident Mission (TJRM).

The award ceremony took place in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, on November 29, on the sidelines of the 22nd CAREC Ministerial Conference.

The CAREC Gender Award recognized outstanding efforts in promoting gender equality, equal rights, and opportunities across daily life, workplaces, and communities.

Manzura Asadova from Tajikistan was honored as a remarkable leader supporting vulnerable women and girls in rural areas.

In the past, Manzura used to teach at a medical college in Kulob but now she is busy at her small family farm.  The farm provides jobs for over 20 women.  Manzura has also set up a non-government organization Nisojon to support vulnerable women and girls.  Manzura works hard to bring positive changes to her community.

The awardees, carefully selected from over 200 candidates by a distinguished panel of jurors, are declared as CAREC Gender Champions of 2023.  This recognition grants them access to CAREC gender events, providing networking opportunities and facilitating peer-to-peer exchange of best practices. Additionally, they will benefit from CAREC leadership coaching and mentorship programs.

The CAREC Award for Advancing Gender Equality stands as a pivotal initiative within the broader CAREC Program, launched in 2001.  CAREC is a partnership of countries and development partners working together to promote sustainable development through cooperation.  ADB hosts the CAREC secretariat and helps to facilitate projects that deliver regional benefits.

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.