KULOB, January 30, Asia-Plus -- Over the past seven year, a number of women holding leading positions in the city and the district of Kulob has increased from 46 to 86, Kulob Mayor, Abdujabbor Zardiyev, remarked at a women’s forum that was held in Kulob on January 28.  

“Eight women hold leading positions in the health sector, 13 women are heads of secondary schools, 19 others are deputy heads of secondary schools, two women are deans of faculties at Kulob State University, and three others are in charge of chairs at the university,” Zardiyev said, noting that two of five women being members of the Khatlon regional legislature (Majlis) are from Kulob.  “In the Kulob city legislature, women constitute 25 percent,” the Kulob mayor said.  

At the same time, Zardiyev pointed to the necessity of raising level of knowledge among women.  “Some 60 percent schoolgirls drop out of schools after ninth form,” he stressed.  

In 2005, 16 women committed suicide; of them 6 women committed suicide by self-immolation, the mayor said.  “Besides, there were case when 13-yearold girls were given in marriage,” he noted. 

The mayor also called on banker to confide more in women.  “Only 47, 800 Somonis were provided in shot-term loans to hundreds of women last year,” Zardiyev said.  

The mayor also criticized work of maternity houses in the region, pointing out increase in number of home deliveries in Kulob.