At a landmark event, the first prize of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program for promoting gender equality was awarded. Eleven organizations and individuals from ten CAREC member countries were recognized at an awards ceremony in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 29 November 2023, on the sidelines of the 22nd CAREC Ministerial Conference.
The CAREC Award recognizes their outstanding efforts in promoting gender equality, equal rights and opportunities in everyday life, workplaces and communities. It emphasizes a commitment to respect and honor those who are making significant strides in advancing gender equality in CAREC member countries. Notable honorees include the Azerbaijan Gender Center for advocating and developing capacity for women’s rights, the Women’s Information Center for consistently advocating for gender equality in Georgia, and Waipula Village in Yunnan, China, which was recognized for its women-led ecotourism initiative.
- The Joint Stock Housing and Construction Savings Bank (Otbasy Bank) in Kazakhstan was recognized for its successful Umai mortgage program aimed at helping women by providing them with the opportunity to purchase affordable housing.
- The National Federation of Women’s Communities of Kyrgyzstan was recognized for its fight against gender-based violence , focusing on issues such as child marriage and bride kidnapping.
- The National Center against Violence in Mongolia was recognized for its contribution to the creation of a comprehensive system for protecting victims of violence;
- The Central Council of the Women’s Union of Turkmenistan has been recognized for uniting more than five thousand local organizations representing more than 880,000 women throughout the country;
- The media project “NeMolchi” from Uzbekistan was praised for its influential contribution to promoting women’s rights and changing public opinion on violence against women.
Wonder Women, an international network operating in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, received a regional award. Two outstanding women leaders were honored: Ms. Fauzia Viqar, a tireless advocate for women’s rights and empowerment in Pakistan, and Ms. Manzura Asadova from Tajikistan, an activist supporting women and girls in vulnerable rural areas.
In her address, Ms. Rachel Thompson, Executive Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), commended the laureates for their transformative work in challenging gender stereotypes, promoting inclusion, and countering discrimination and gender-based violence. The awards ceremony, hosted by Georgian journalist Ms. Elena Kvanchilashvili, was a celebration of achievements and a collective encouragement to persevere in achieving gender equality.
The laureates, carefully selected from over 200 candidates by a distinguished jury, are now announced as 2023 CAREC Gender Champions. This recognition provides them with the opportunity to participate in various events organized by CAREC on gender issues, providing opportunities for networking and exchange of experiences. In addition, they will benefit from CAREC leadership coaching and mentoring programs.
The CAREC Award for Advancing Gender Equality is a key initiative within the broader CAREC program launched in 2001. This program symbolizes a strong partnership of countries and development partners working together to promote development through regional cooperation in Central and West Asia. ///Uzdaily.uz, 30 November 2023