8 March, Ashgabat- On International Women’s Day UNICEF looks at the progress made in gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments during the ongoing pandemic and strive more towards gender equality.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has a visible effect on women globally from being pushed into poverty, to loss of jobs as the informal economy where women occupy majority of jobs shrinks, to an alarming increase in domestic violence and the unpaid care burden. At the same time, women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.
“We cannot let a generation of girls bear the cost of this pandemic for the rest of their lives. As we work toward a post-pandemic era, girls must be at the centre of global, national, and local pandemic response and recovery plans,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell in her statement on International Women’s Day.
UNICEF in Turkmenistan carried on this important message by focusing on women’s health as well as women’s role in the ongoing pandemic through its social media platforms and with national partners by launching an information campaign highlighting the success stories of 8 young women who brought forward their contributions in various fields including sports, graphic design and eco-activitism. Young women tell how they navigated in their respective fields despite the challenges paused by the global pandemic and shared their lessons learnt.
“The most important thing in achieving goals for me is to constantly expand my knowledge and being kind. Since childhood, I always wanted to become a nurse, and I succeeded. Today, in the context of a global pandemic, the value and the necessity of our profession becomes clearer for many,” says Nargilya Gasanova, nurse.
To further emphasize the need to strive for gender equality, to highlight the importance of women’s health during the pandemic as well as to discuss further ways to empower women, UNICEF jointly with WHO and UNFPA held a briefing for national media and public organizations of Turkmenistan. Covering topics ranging from pregnancy and breastfeeding and vaccination; the rise of gender-based violence globally and the ways to tackle it as well as overall key messages that help address gender-based social norms, the participants discussed various ways to communicate these important messages for social and behavior change using media: television, radio, online platforms and meetings in the communities.
“I was raised by a woman and learnt right from wrong from my mother and grandmothers. I think it is the same case for many people and this shows the critical role of women in social behavioral change.
This pandemic has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry,” said UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan Mohammad Fayyazi addressing the participants of the briefing, “I congratulate all girls and women of Turkmenistan with upcoming International Women’s Day and reassure you that UNICEF is committed to work with girls and women around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the pandemic leaving no one behind”.
UNICEF will continue working with national partners in Turkmenistan in the areas of including health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and hygiene, child protection and social policy to invest in girls’ skills, ambition and potential. /// nCa, 8 March 2022 [partner post from UNICEF Turkmenistan]