Promoting womens development in Tajikistan
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Promoting women's development in Tajikistan05 August 2016
Cashmere spinner uses a wheel imported by the project, Badakhshan province, Tajikistan.
Occupation: Wool Processor (Head of Tebalai Pasture Users Union)
Location: Tebalai, Tajikistan
5 August 2016 – Gulsunbi Najmuddinova was keen to find work to help pay for her children’s education and other household essentials. Her family was one of the most vulnerable in the village of Tebalai, located in a valley in the high mountainous area of Shuroobod district in southeastern Tajikistan.
In partnership with the Government of Tajikistan, IFAD is creating favourable conditions for women’s development and increasing employment in mountainous areas.
Fifteen women’s groups dedicated to wool processing have been established under the IFAD-supported Livestock and Pasture Development Project, providing poor rural women with jobs and support, and helping them to gain market access for their products.
Gulsunbi is now the head of the Tebalai Pasture Users Union and a member of the Women’s Income Generation Group. Her marked sense of responsibility, willingness to work and sincere belief in success shows what such groups can achieve.
Today, 110 poor rural women are running their own wool processing enterprises, making and selling marketable wool products. They can now count on stable earnings, with average income per household expected to be about US$110 a month.
“As my children grew older, I started to think about how to pay for their education and provide them with necessary materials and books," says Gulsunbi.
"I wanted to find an activity that would be profitable not only for my own family, but also for other women in my village. Fortunately, I found out about the Livestock and Pasture Development Project and how it provides support to rural women.”
The project provided wool processing equipment to the women’s group that Gulsunbi and the other women have used to produce slippers that were then sold in Dushanbe.
Earlier this year, Gulsunbi took part in a national fair of handmade products, showcasing wool items made by the group, which were rated highly for their quality and design. Through careful planning, Gulsunbi uses her income from the business to cover family expenses.
Based on her success with the group, Gulsanbi aspires to expand her business.
“I have plans to expand my activity even more. I want to launch another entrepreneurship activity using the profits from my current business, give my children a full education and improve my household conditions. First of all, we have decided to teach our practices to other women so they can also improve their livelihoods,” says Gulsunbi.