Promoting gender equality, addressing gender-based violence, and empowering women are the highest priorities of USAID’s work across the globe, including in the Kyrgyz Republic. Through multiple programs, USAID targets issues such as gender-based violence, women’s participation in political processes, gender-specific risk factors for TB and HIV, access to job opportunities, business creation, and equity in educational outcomes.
While some USAID programs have specific objectives, like improving the political participation of women or protecting women from violence, all of its work addresses gender-related challenges directly or indirectly.
In the economic development sector, USAID works to create conditions for women to fully participate in the economy. This includes training and grant support for women entrepreneurs so that they can expand their businesses. Since 2020, USAID programs in the Kyrgyz Republic have supported over 400 women entrepreneurs through grants and technical assistance. Over 3,000 women received jobs in the apparel, tourism, and agriculture sectors as a result of USAID’s assistance.
In health and education, USAID makes sure that programs are sensitive to the specific needs of boys, girls, men, and women and take into account gender-specific risk factors. For example, in the last two years, USAID’s Advancing Nutrition project has provided more than 50,000 consultations on nutrition for women of reproductive age and pregnant women in Jalal-Abad and Batken oblasts. Equipping women with knowledge about nutrition and proper child feeding practices is critical for the population’s health as studies show that children and women have the highest rates of anemia (43% and 35% respectively, DHS 2012).
In the fight against tuberculosis, USAID employs different approaches to target men and women as it often affects them differently in terms of their social circumstances. For example, as men are generally at higher risk of getting infected as members of vulnerable groups like homeless people or migrants, the Cure Tuberculosis project works with these groups to improve their access to care. USAID also works with local religious leaders who have exclusive access to men through mosques and madrassahs, as well as strong social influence in order to raise men’s awareness about the disease.
Through USAID's work to support basic education, we help to create a nondiscriminatory classroom environment with regard to gender, social and economic status, and physical and mental abilities. For example, in the last two years, USAID supported training for 3,000 school administrators and methodologists on addressing issues of gender sensitivity and inclusion in texts for school children.
In democratic governance, we aim to encourage the political participation of women, prevent gender-based violence, and support victims of domestic violence. For example, USAID has been supporting a network of women leaders that unites more than 5,000 active women from the Parliament and local councils to civil society. This network works across the country to ensure the broader representation of women in local municipalities.
Since 2020, USAID has helped to organize psychological and legal counseling for over 2,000 survivors of gender-based violence. At the national level, USAID assisted the Government to draft the National Strategy on Gender Equality for 2021-2030 in cooperation with other development partners.