Twenty women-led Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been selected by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) to undergo a capacity building program, developed and led by the Civil Society Initiative of the University of Central Asia (UCA), according to press release issued by UCA..

This is part of a six-month project of AKF and UCA, funded by Global Affairs Canada, Foundations for Health and Empowerment, and Advancing Gender Equality and Civil Society.

The selected participants are winners of an online competition among women-led and gender equality-focused CSOs, who developed best ideas for improving local health infrastructure to meet the needs of vulnerable women. Another objective is developing prevention measures and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

This one-week online training, “Women’s Voices amid the COVID-19 Crisis”, launched on September 2, is led by international gender expert Veronica Cretu. She is a representative of the Participation Council to the UN Women Moldova and Global Woman Aspirational Award Winner of 2019, and has vast expertise and experience working in Central Asia on issues of gender equality, open government, citizen engagement, and open data.

“We are planning to conduct seven webinars for 40 attendees on a daily basis. The program has an intensive agenda, including such aspects as building the national community of women practitioners and improving their capacity on issues of gender equity, Covid19 response practices, domestic violence, women’s challenges, economic empowerment, social issues, and citizen engagement among others”, says Dinara Musabekova, head of the Civil Society Initiative of UCA’s Graduate School of Development.

Apart from gaining new knowledge and skills, participants will also get support and mentoring for drafting the outlines of collaborative actions for COVID-19.

After training, these CSOs will be awarded a small grant to implement their project ideas.